08/04/2021 10:21 PM -
South Holland Ill.- When Jack Guzek (Manhattan/Iowa) took the mound for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen on Wednesday against the Chicago American Giants, he was on the cusp of achieving history. By the end of his outing, he had shattered a pair of franchise records.
After notching two strikeouts in the first inning, he passed Enrique Zamora for the most in a single season and when he recorded his eighth strikeout in the fourth inning, he surpassed Christian Howells record to become the Oilmen leader in career strikeouts.
“Both of those records show how great he’s been not only for us this year but in the past,” Oilmen manager TJ Marik said. “I’m super happy for him he absolutely deserves it.”
Guzek hurled six innings from the rubber surrendering just two hits and one run while striking out 11 and not allowing any walks. On the offensive side the Oilmen accomplished some history by defeating the American Giants by a score of 19-2 in seven innings. The 17-run margin tied a franchise record.
“Offensively this was probably our best game of the year,” Marik said. “It was a great job all around by everybody, but the thing is a lot of times when we do this in the next game we don’t perform up to par. So, we have to come back tomorrow and keep this trend rolling.”
Every batter in the lineup recorded a hit with the team total reaching 20. Kevin McCormick (Orland Park/ Evansville) and newcomer Anthony Villarreal (Highland/ CCSJ) led the way with three hits apiece. Gaillien Coupet (Homewood/Creighton) also paced the offense by scoring four times. This offensive surge coupled with a gem from Guzek helped the Oilmen end a two-game losing streak.
“In those losses we didn’t hit as well,” Marik said. “The guys having a day off was super nice and tonight the guys got after it and came out and got their reps and performed how they should.”
Moving into the final homestand of the season beginning on Thursday the Oilmen will be focused on making sure their players can be healthy heading into the postseason.
“We have some guys that will be away for the final homestand that will be rejoining us for the playoffs,” Marik said. “These guys have played a lot of baseball in the last few months, some guys even since February. It’ll be great for them to get away and recover and come back with a lot more energy.”
The Oilmen will return to Oil City Stadium for a three game homestand beginning Thursday against the Crestwood Panthers at 7:10 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network on JED TV and AM 1230 WJOB