06/03/2014 11:12 PM -
Flossmoor, Ill. – June 3, 2014 – Jimmy McNamara took the ball on Tuesday night at Homewood-Flossmoor High School with one goal in mind.
The ultra-competitive Oilmen left-hander wanted to avenge his only loss of the 2013 season, which came to Southland in the clinching game of the league championship series. McNamara found the redemption he coveted, picking up his first win of the season in a 2-0 triumph over the Vikings.
McNamara lasted six innings, surrendered four hits, issued no walks and struck out seven.
“It was good to come back here,” McNamara said. “We had to buckle down. These guys won it last year and they’re usually one of the tougher teams to face. I didn’t like the way things ended here last year. It was really nice to avenge the loss.”
Northwest Indiana scored twice in the second inning, which turned out to be the only runs of the game. With the bases empty and two down, Alec Ornelas doubled to start a string of four straight hits. Anthony Colosimo and Ryan Burvan each cracked run-scoring singles.
Burvan and McNamara graduated from Lake Central High School one year apart. The two are reunited this summer for the first time since hoisting the Class 4A IHSAA State Championship trophy in 2012.
“I’ve been playing with him since I was seven years old in both baseball and basketball,” McNamara said. “It is really nice to play with him again and see how far both of us have come along.”
After the second inning rally, the Oilmen managed no further damage against starter Kevin Hallberg or the Southland bullpen.
“It’s surprising on a field like this to only have two runs with two teams that should put up a lot more, but that’s a testament to the pitching tonight,” Huisman said. “It was refreshing to go out and put up a shutout after what we’ve done the last couple of games.”
Garrett Sherrell tossed two innings of scoreless relief after allowing all six men he faced to reach in Sunday’s loss to Lexington. Huisman helped Sherrell make a mechanical adjustment prior to Tuesday’s game.
Matt Pobereyko nailed down his second save of the season. The Vikings had the tying run at the plate after Dan Potempa walked to start the ninth, but Pobereyko recorded back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to end it.
The Oilmen improve to 3-2 and snap a two-game losing streak, while Southland suffers its second straight defeat and drops to 2-2.
Tuesday’s game was the first time in team history that the Oilmen have played a game decided by the score of 2-0. It was the fifth time in club history that the Oilmen have shutout the opposing team. All four prior shutouts came in 2013, three against Rockford and one against Lexington.
The Vikings had gone 38 consecutive games without being shutout since an 8-0 loss to Lexington on June 11, 2013. Southland had not been held scoreless in its own ballpark since June 18, 2012, an 18-0 loss to Will County.
The two teams will meet again on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Oil City Stadium. The Whiting High School Science Olympiad will be recognized prior to the game for its trip to nationals. Wednesday is also “Way Back Wednesday” at the ballpark with all fans receiving half off any general admission ticket.