07/23/2013 10:26 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 23, 2013 –The Northwest Indiana Oilmen utilized a marathon inning on their way to a double header sweep of the Rockford Foresters on Tuesday night at Oil City Stadium.
NWI exploded for a franchise-record 11 runs in the sixth inning of the second game of Tuesday’s twin bill. The outburst turned a 6-1 deficit into a 12-6 triumph, accounting for the biggest Oilmen comeback of the season.
“It was just a combination of finally not swinging at balls down in the zone and making them throw strikes,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “Luckily, the lefty that came in couldn’t throw strikes. We were patient enough and then took advantage of it.”
Lowell product Craig Austgen rapped a bases-clearing double off the right field fence in the sixth to give the Oilmen their first lead of the game at 8-6. The 11-run sixth shattered the previous high for runs in an inning of eight, a feat they accomplished three times in 2012.
Jack Czeszewski and Kenny Mahala each reached base in four of their five plate appearances. Ty Hogan enjoyed his first three-hit game of the season. Aveeno Nasiloski was the winning pitcher in relief of Brett Schneider.
In the first game of the double header, which was comprised of two seven-inning games, Northwest Indiana cruised to a 5-0 victory behind a complete-game pitching performance from Hanover Central graduate Andy Wellwerts, who allowed no runs on four hits.
Anthony Bova, Leiff Clarkson and Austgen each posted two hits in the opener. NWI immediately took the lead as Bova led off the game with a triple before trotting home on a Clarkson single. Jack Czeszewski, the very next batter, doubled to permit Clarkson to come around to score.
“You can’t expect other teams to lose to teams that are at the bottom,” Huisman said. “Right now, everybody’s trying to play for home field; the top four could end up anywhere.”
The Oilmen play their final non-league game of the season on Wednesday night as they welcome the Michigan City Lakers at 7:10. According to Huisman, that game will give some players a chance to show him what they can handle since it does not count in the standings. Huisman said he will avoid using pitchers that the team will need for league games.
MCL play resumes on Thursday night as the Rockford Foresters return to town for the regular season home finale at 5:10. With the double header sweep, the Oilmen (19-12) trimmed DuPage’s lead for the top spot in the league to two games. They are now 2.5 ahead of fourth-place Lexington and two games in front of third-place Southland.