07/07/2013 7:18 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 7, 2013 – When Tyler Baar was picked off second base after leading off the bottom of the ninth of a scoreless game with a double, it looked as if the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and Michigan City Lakers were ticketed for extra innings. However, Ty Hogan singled and Rashawn Tillman delivered a sacrifice fly to pick up their teammates and provide Northwest Indiana with a walk-off 1-0 win.
“We’re in the dugout, and I could hear [Baar] saying, ‘somebody pick me up,’" Tillman said. "That’s what happens when you have guys on the team that believe in each other. We’ve got guys on the team that pick each other up and that’s exactly what we did.”
Northwest Indiana threatened throughout the game, but left six men in scoring position before Tillman came through with the game-ender.
“Hogan gets a base hit and it puts the pressure right back on them,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “If he didn’t do that, then the inning might be a lot different than it was. Hogan was challenging himself all game and I’m happy that he came through there.”
Michigan City pitcher Casey Young worked seven shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and striking out seven.
“He works fast,” Huisman said. “He kept guys off balance and threw strikes. That’s a good recipe for having a successful outing. He did a good job of taking advantage of us getting ourselves out a lot and not being sharp.”
Tillman is hopeful that the walk-off run batted in will propel him to an improved second half offensively.
“Just with that play by itself, I feel like everything is coming together,” Tillman said. “The ball was middle-away, I drove it.”
The Oilmen utilized five different pitchers in a combined blanking of the Lakers. Lake Central product Jimmy McNamara, Mike Steensen, Bishop Noll’s Matt and Danny Pobereyko and Gavit’s Aveeno Nasiloski all saw action. McNamara left after three innings since he is slated to work an inning in Tuesday’s Midwest Collegiate League All-Star game at Oil City Stadium.
Portage High School and Purdue North Central graduate Shane Prance worked 1.2 innings in relief of Young before allowing the winning run. Prance pitched with the Schaumberg Boomers of the Frontier League in 2012.
Jack Czeszewski reached base three times via a double and two walks to lead the Oilmen offense.
Northwest Indiana improves to 16-7 overall entering the All-Star Break. Ten Oilmen plus manager Justin Huisman will partake in the All-Star festivities on Tuesday night at 7:30 at Oil City Stadium. The entire team will congregate in time to open the second half on Thursday night at 7:10 as the Southland Vikings visit NWI.