07/11/2013 11:27 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 11, 2013 – Oilmen starter Jimmy McNamara turned in another impressive outing on Thursday night, but it was outfielder Anthony Bova who stole the spotlight in a dramatic 2-1 win over the Southland Vikings at Oil City Stadium.
With the game tied at one and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bova dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, allowing Kenny Mahala to scamper home to score the winning run.
“We decided to put the squeeze on there and as a batter you have to do anything you can to get that bunt down,” Bova said. “It’s all about leverage, your bat angle and the location of the pitch.”
Before winning the game with his bunt, Bova kept the score even with a sharp throw to the plate to cut down Mark Munizzi, who was trying to score on a Micah Rooke single to center in the seventh.
“I knew I had him right away,” Bova said. “It was a line drive throw, so I knew it would be close. As a catcher, that’s a big responsibility to catch the pull and put the tag on him, so Tyler Baar did a heck of a job putting the tag on him.”
McNamara and Southland starter Aaron Hauge matched each other nearly pitch for pitch prior to McNamara’s exit after six innings of one-run baseball. Hauge worked seven frames, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out 13. Both starters wiggled in and out of jams throughout the evening.
“We saw two All-Stars out there throwing strikes, keeping hitters off balance and taking advantage of a little bit bigger zone,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “They both did a great job and whenever they did get in trouble, they made big pitches to get out of it.”
Joe Cochran tossed two scoreless innings of relief before Aveeno Nasiloski worked around two ninth inning walks and eventually became the winning pitcher. Southland’s Alex Lesiak came on for the ninth and took the loss, allowing just the second earned run he has surrendered all season in 14 innings of work.
Mahala and Bova led the offense with two hits each. Mahala tripled off the wall to lead off the second before scoring the first NWI tally as Bova stroked a single.
With the win, Northwest Indiana improves to 17-7, 11-6 in Midwest Collegiate League activity. The Oilmen and Vikings will square off again on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Oilmen are now in a first place tie with the Lexington Snipes and DuPage County Hounds. The Hounds and Snipes will do battle while the Oilmen host the Vikings on Friday.