06/16/2022 11:31 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 16, 2022 – With the Northwest Indiana Oilmen trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, it seemed like the hosts were setting up for another late rally on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium.
However, a bouncing ball over the left side of the infield with two outs and two strikes in the eighth plated two for the visiting Lake County Corn Dogs, and seemingly deflated hopes of another comeback in an eventual 6-2 setback for the Oilmen.
“In that situation a ball that bounces over the third baseman’s head always stings,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “That costs you runs, but we need to make a better 0-2 pitch. With an 0-2 count, we can’t throw anything that the hitter has a chance to barrel.”
The Oilmen issued three walks to set up the two-out single in the eighth and allowed another insurance tally in the top of the ninth, but the real issue for Northwest Indiana was that offense was hard to come by as the team was held to just four hits, all against starting pitcher Ryan Troxel in his five shutout innings. The Lake County bullpen did not yield a hit over four scoreless frames.
“They commanded off-speed well, and we didn’t adjust to looking for it early enough in the game,” Enright said. “We did later, but it was too late at that point.”
The lone NWI scoring in the game came in the fifth inning on one swing of the bat from Chris Baker, whose two-run homer added to a day where he notched a ground-rule double to account for half of the team’s hits.
“Chris’ approach has always been really good, but he’s starting to square balls up,” Enright said. “Early in the summer, he was having trouble finding the barrel, hitting a lot of popups and rollover ground balls, but now timing wise and swing wise things are coming along as you would expect with the at-bats he’s had.”
The Oilmen (8-9) will attempt to get back to .500 on Friday as they visit the Lake County Corn Dogs for a 7 p.m. first pitch at Legacy Fields in Crown Point. Brandon Vickrey and Leo Staudacher will have the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.