07/08/2022 9:56 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 8, 2022 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen bullpen delivered in a big way on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium.
A much-needed relief performance saw the Oilmen bullpen combine for 7 1/3 shutout innings to lift the hosts to a come-from-behind 10-5 victory over the Chicago American Giants.
Starting pitcher Logan Strutz (Triton / Lockport, Ill.) lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on six walks and two hits including a three-run homer by Joshua Carter in the top of the first. After Strutz received the hook with two outs in the second, a parade of Oilmen relievers took the mound with tremendous success as five arms combined to silence the Giants to the tune of no runs on three hits in seven innings.
Tyler Preissing (Aurora / Mount Prospect, Ill.) was first in line, logging 2 1/3 innings of shutout ball, before Chris Seropian (Lake Land / Chicago, Ill.) pitched a shutout frame in his season debut as he returned from an injury. He was eventually credited with the win. Silas Noe (Waubonsee / Wilmette, Ill.) flipped two shutout innings and struck out four, before Justin Egan (Black Hawk / Orland Park, Ill.) and Nick Heiden (Aurora / Minooka, Ill.) each added scoreless frames. Over the final four innings, the Giants had just one hit and no walks as 10 of the 12 outs came via the strikeout. The bullpen combined for 12 strikeouts as the Oilmen pitching staff fanned 16 Giants in the game.
“We needed the bullpen tonight,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “Logan Strutz just did not have it early on; he struggled with command right out of the gate. I had to go early hook for one of the only times this summer. Our starting pitching hasn’t had implosions very often this summer. It was huge that we had guys who were able to pitch for punchouts throughout the game. That kept us where we needed to be so we could chip away and get a lead halfway through the game.”
While the bullpen did yeoman’s work, that gave the offense the opportunity to rally from the 5-0 hole. The Oilmen scored twice in the third including an RBI double by David Marshall (College of DuPage / Downers Grove, Ill.), twice in the fourth as Khyle Radcliffe (John A. Logan / Chicago, Ill.) and Marshall drove in runs and eventually took the lead with two more in the sixth on a two-run single by Anthony Fumagalli (Purdue Northwest / Plainfield, Ill.), who was making his season debut after playing for the Oilmen last summer.
NWI tacked on three in the eighth to break it open. Marshall was a centerpiece of the Oilmen offense, collecting three hits and reaching base five times while scoring twice and driving in three.
“Marshall is a very experienced college hitter,” Enright said. “The tools don’t necessarily jump out at you, but he does a good job of controlling the strike zone and his at-bats are always quality. He rarely gives away at-bats. Usually when he makes outs, it’s because pitchers make good pitches and have to earn it to keep him off the base paths.”
The Oilmen (17-14) will return to action on Friday night for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch at Oil City Stadium against the Southland Vikings. It’s Country Night at the ballpark with tickets available now on NWIOilmen.com.