06/14/2022 11:21 PM -
Whiting Ind.- Entering the bottom of the ninth inning the Northwest Indiana Oilmen were hoping to capture a walk off victory for the third time in four games.
However a highlight reel catch in left field would spoil their rally and result in a 8-7 loss to the Joliet Generals. After allowing eight runs over the first three innings the Oilmen bullpen tightened things up posting six scoreless innings to give their team a chance at making a comeback. CJ Byrdak (Homer Glenn/ Iowa Central) did the long work after entering in the second inning. The right hander threw four innings allowing two runs on just two hits while striking out a pair. Mike Freitas (Bourbonnais/Olivet Nazarene) added two and a third innings of scoreless ball while Jake Paymaster (New Lenox/ Triton College) struck out the side in the ninth inning to set up his offense for a chance to walk it off.
“The bullpen put us in a position where we were able to win three of the last six innings and try to strike late,” Oilmen Manager Adam Enright said. “Anytime you put up six zeros in a row to end the game it doesn’t matter what the score is, you have a chance to win.”
Stranding baserunners was what came back to haunt the Oilmen as saw three innings end with the bases loaded in a day where they out hit their opponent. Jack Zebig (Riverside/ Illinois Tech) led the way with three hits and two walks. Chris Baker (South Holland/ Trinity Christian) and Kyle Czarnecki (Minooka/ Kankakee CC) each added a pair of hits while Baker also scored twice.
“The biggest thing was we had a really consistent strike zone behind the plate and our guys understood that so we didn’t chase at all by expanding the zone and giving the pitchers a chance to make the zone bigger.” Enright said.
The Oilmen will have a chance to get back in the win column when they host the Chicago American Giants on Wednesday at 7:10 P.M. The game will be available across all platforms of the Oilmen broadcasting network.