06/22/2022 11:14 PM -
Carol Stream Ill.- A twinbill on the road provided the Northwest Indiana Oilmen an opportunity to get back above .500.
The Oilmen rose to the occasion taking both games of the doubleheader over the Joliet Generals to bring their record to 11-10 and help their attempt to climb up the Northern League standings.
The visitors would take game one in commanding fashion by a score of 13-2 invoking the 10 run rule after the fifth inning. A breakthrough fourth inning that saw the Oilmen plate six propelled them to victory in the opener. Sebastian Cabeza (Aurora/ Black Hawk) and Chazz Clark (Chicago/ Xavier Louisiana) slugged back to back doubles while Tylor Phommachanhom (Joliet/ Dayton) added a triple in a frame full of extra base hits. Matt Lelito (Andrean/ Toledo) worked four solid innings striking out five while Caleb Deel (Gary/Calumet New Tech) tossed an inning of shutout ball.
“We always play pretty well offensively when Matt pitches,” Oilmen Manager Adam Enright said.“We play a little more aggressively and feel less pressure because we know he’s going to keep us in the ballgame. I can always set my watch to him, setting the tone for us to play very loose.”
The second game was a back and forth affair that saw the Oilmen escape with an 8-5 win to sweep the twinbill. NWI found themselves trailing by a run going into the fifth inning. They would erase that deficit when Kyle Czarnecki (Minooka/Kankakee CC) drove home Cabeza and then Colin Horneman (Saint John/Lincoln Trail) would hit a sacrifice fly to score Czarnecki. The Oilmen were able to rally for 13 huits while limiting Joliet to just 4.
“There was a lot of energy after the first game because everyone had a good day,” Enright said. “The overall atmosphere of the team was really good because we had so many things working well for us. So I don’t think fatigue really set in because so many things were going for them.”
The pitching staff rose to the occasion in the nightcap with Logan Strutz (Lockport/Triton) making his first start of the season while going four innings striking out five which would double his season high in innings. Jack Neikrasz (Riverside/ Illinois Tech) provided two innings of scoreless work while Mike Freitas (Bournainais/ Olivet Nazarene) locked down the save.
“Logan made adjustments after the first inning to have more command in the upper and lower parts of the zone and that kept working for him.” Enight said.
The Oilmen will try to string together another win when they host the Chicago American Giants on Thursday at 7:10 P.M. at Oil City Stadium. The game will be available across all platforms of the Oilmen broadcasting network.