06/02/2022 9:41 PM -
Chicago – June 2, 2022 – Two-out hitting isn’t easy.
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen experienced that challenge on Thursday evening, as they created opportunities throughout the game but too often mounted two-out rallies and couldn’t muster up the clutch hit they needed in a 5-3 setback to the host Chicago American Giants at Ed Glancy Field on Chicago’s south side.
“We have to look to set the table early in the inning,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “We got on base a lot later in innings where we had to get two-out hits to score runs. You want to come through in as many two-out RBI situations as you can, but those are difficult. They are the hardest hits to come by, so us doing a better job with the first two hitters of each inning getting on base more often will set us up to score more runs.”
Josh Mosley (Triton / Chicago, Ill.) made a favorable first impression in his Oilmen debut, tattooing a two-run homer to left in his first plate appearance to vault NWI out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning. Giants starting pitcher Caleb Arndtt issued six walks in 5 2/3 innings, but the Oilmen couldn’t fully make him pay as he surrendered just two hits in a winning effort.
The Oilmen pitching staff did a much better job of avoiding walks than in Wednesday’s loss to the Panthers, which featured 14 free passes. NWI pitching issued just two walks on Thursday, but starter Jake Ostrowski (Trinity Christian / Lockport, Ill.) did yield four runs (three earned) on eight hits in four innings while walking one and striking out five. He took the defeat as all of the damage against him came in the bottom of the second, when the Giants (1-3) scored four times including two on a clutch two-out double by Max Bullock.
“Jake was a little more erratic than he usually is – he bounced a lot of sliders,” Enright said. “He was at 90 pitches through four innings. We walked fewer batters, but we still have to be better getting in front of those 1-1 counts and winning the first three pitches and not having to battle back in the count with hittable strikes.”
The Oilmen got a run in the sixth on a two-out double by Tylor Pohmmachanhom (Dayton / Joliet, Ill.), but the potential tying run was stranded at third and potential go-ahead tally was left at second, allowing the Giants to cling to a 4-3 lead. The hosts added a run in the seventh to account for the game’s final score.
Six of the nine Oilmen batters had a base hit, but none had multi-hit games. Dom Curcio (Aurora / Plainfield, Ill.) reached three times via a hit and two walks. Tyler Preissing (Aurora / Mount Prospect, Ill.) hurled two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The Oilmen (3-5) have dropped five of their last six games. They will have a few days off before returning to action on Sunday against the Crestwood Panthers.