07/27/2023 9:28 PM -
On the hottest day of the season, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen fell flat on the road against the Southland Vikings during Thursday afternoon's doubleheader. With a first pitch temperature of 90 degrees, Southland’s turf field made the conditions even more grueling.
The Oilmen lost the first game of the doubleheader 6-2, and the second game 7-6. The Oilmen were inconsistent all afternoon, and struggled with more inconsistencies from the pitching staff. In the first game, Oilmen starter Joey Turek went six innings, hitting four batters and allowing three runs.
Despite the Oilmen’s faulty play, Anthony Fornero hit a bases-clearing triple in the second game. Fornero gave the Oilmen an early 3-0 lead, and was a big part of the offensive success.
“He played a double into a triple to clear the bases which helped us take the lead for a brief moment,” Oilmen Manager Adam Enright said.
The first game of Thursday’s doubleheader featured a strong outing from Southland’s starting pitcher Matt Maloney. In a seven-inning game, Maloney went six, allowing two runs on just three hits and picked up the win. The Oilmen totaled just four hits and left eight stranded on base.
In the second matchup, the game was cut short after five innings due to the sunlight dwindling away. Offensively, the Oilmen took command early, holding a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half. . Despite a slight offensive resurgence, Oilmen starter Aaron Buckholtz lost the lead in the same inning.
Buckholtz pitched two innings, allowing seven runs on six hits. After already taking Game 1, the Vikings came back with a seven-run second inning, including nine straight base runners in the inning.
“He [Buckholtz] didn’t throw enough strikes, and his fastball was all over the place,” Enright said. “Once you walk a couple guys then they [Vikings] were just locked in on him throwing balls down the middle.”
The Oilmen are just a half-game ahead of the Vikings for second place in the league standings, falling to 26-20. The Oilmen continue on the road on Friday, July 28 against the Griffith Generals for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch at Brian Jennings Field in Griffith.