05/29/2022 6:43 AM -
Crown Point, Ind. – May 28, 2022 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen stayed in the game thanks to strong work for their bullpen, but hits were hard to come by for the NWI offense on a pleasant Saturday night at Legacy Fields in Crown Point.
The host Lake County Corn Dogs prevailed 5-1 behind a stellar pitching performance by starter Frank Plesac, who allowed one run on three hits in seven innings to earn the victory.
“I talked to our hitters about improving our approach,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “I want to give them the tools to help them be a little bit more dangerous at the plate as far as timing, what they’re trying to do and what they’re looking for. A lot of guys haven’t played a whole lot in the last month and some of them didn’t play a whole lot all spring, so I’m excited about exposing them to some things that will help them become more valuable players to their college teams.”
Two free passes in each frame helped the Corn Dogs score twice in the third and twice more in the fourth against Oilmen starting pitcher Frank Quinn (St. Ambrose / Chicago, Ill.), who took the defeat after allowing four runs on four hits in four frames. The NWI bullpen put together a quality effort, working four innings of one-run ball while striking out six and issuing no walks. The highlight came from Mike Freitas (Olivet Nazarene / Bourbonnais, Ill.), who struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth.
“Pitching wise we’ve been pretty good,” Enright said. “We’ve had a couple of innings where command went away for three or four hitters, but at this point in the summer I’m happy with our effort on the mound.”
The lone Oilmen run of the day came in the seventh inning, when Chris Baker (Trinity Christian / South Holland, Ill.) tripled on a fly ball to deep left that appeared to be lost in the lights by the Corn Dog outfield. He crossed the dish a moment later on a ground ball by David Marshall (College of DuPage / Downers Grove, Ill.), snapping a streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings from the Lake County pitching staff.
“Plesac was really good,” Enright said. “He was commanding multiple pitches for strikes right out of the gate and didn’t allow us to lock in on one of his pitches because he was very dangerous with everything he threw. It allowed him to change speeds, fastballs and off-speed, which made it very difficult for us to figure out what we were looking for.”
The Oilmen threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but stranded the maximum in both instances after bringing the tying run to the plate.
The Oilmen (2-2) and Corn Dogs (2-1) will lock horns once again on Sunday afternoon for a 3 p.m. first pitch at Legacy Fields. The game will air on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, including AM 1230 WJOB, Region Sports and the Oilmen Facebook page, with Brandon Vickrey and Ben Slack on the call.