07/19/2014 1:46 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 18, 2014 – A solid start from Jimmy McNamara, an impressive relief appearance by Aaron Glatt and an opportunity to move within 1 ½ games of first place all went to waste for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen on Friday night.
The Oilmen offense continued to flounder as Northwest Indiana dropped a 16-inning marathon to the Lexington Snipes by a score of 3-2. The Oilmen scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning, but were held scoreless in the other 15 frames.
“They have to have better approaches,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “They’re getting pitches to hit; they’re just not hitting them. You’ve got to go up there with a plan. You work into a hitter’s count, and when a guy gives you something to hit, you’ve got to do more with it.”
Entering Thursday night, the Oilmen had not played extra innings all season. Now, they have entered bonus baseball on consecutive nights. Friday’s game was the longest game in terms of innings played in Oilmen history, topping the 15-inning game that took place on June 30, 2013, a 13-12 loss to DuPage County.
The Oilmen ran out of available arms after 14 innings, causing position player Ryan Burvan to come in to pitch the 15th. He worked a scoreless top of the 15th, but was eventually tagged with the loss after allowing a run-scoring single to Eric Phillis in the 16th.
A day after the Admirals stuck with Quinn Ahern for 10 innings, Lexington left starter John Munyon stayed in the game for 11 frames. He allowed two runs on six hits and did not factor into the decision. Kyle Jenkins was the winning pitcher with four innings of relief, allowing no runs on two hits. Zach Barkdull, who caught the first 15 1/3 innings, took the bump to notch a one-pitch save in the bottom of the 16th.
Bishop Noll graduate Larry Crisler faced Barkdull with runners at first and second and two outs in the bottom of the 16th with Lexington leading 3-2. Crisler popped the first pitch up to second baseman Austin Smith, ending the game.
Nick Vogelmeier roped a single to left with two outs in the bottom of the 15th, but Andrew Ray was cut down easily at the plate trying to score from second base. Ray was the offensive star of the game for the Oilmen, going 4-for-5 and reaching base five times.
Right fielder Craig Dedelow made a sprawling catch in the top of the 10th inning to retire Eric Fight as the Snipes stranded the go-ahead run at third. Lexington coach Billy DuBois was ejected for arguing that the ball bounced into Dedelow’s glove.
Starting pitcher Jimmy McNamara was lifted after allowing no runs on one hit over five innings. He threw 74 pitches, issuing four walks and striking out four. McNamara was pitching on four days rest after having at least five days between starts most of the summer, leading to the shortened outing.
Aaron Glatt gutted out 4 2/3 innings of relief, working in and out of trouble to keep his team in the game. Glatt’s earned run average dropped nearly 3.5 runs with his relief appearance.
“It was his best outing of the summer so far,” Huisman said. “His fastball was more crisp; he threw his breaking stuff for strikes more and he got ahead of hitters more often.”
Andrew Lowe, Andrew Jackson and Anthony Gomez all tossed scoreless frames in relief, bridging the gap between McNamara and Glatt. After Glatt’s departure, Matt Pobereyko heaved 1 1/3 innings, before the Oilmen were forced to turn to a position player on the mound.
“I can’t complain about the pitching, and that’s been the case all summer,” Huisman said. “The guys have done an outstanding job on the mound for us and that’s the reason why our record is what it is and why we’re going to be in the playoffs. That’s not the problem; the problem is that our hitters have to start manufacturing. Whatever it takes to score runs, they’ve got to start doing it.”
The Snipes had already played a nine-inning game earlier in the day, defeating first-place DuPage County 7-2. In total, Lexington played 23 innings on Friday in addition to making a long road trip and playing at two different road venues.
The Oilmen (21-13, 19-12) and Snipes (20-13) are now tied for third in the Midwest Collegiate League standings, 2 ½ back of the first-place Hounds, who lost twice on Friday. Southland is in second place, one game ahead of the Oilmen and 1 ½ behind DuPage County.
The Oilmen host the DuPage County Hounds on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. at Oil City Stadium, while the Snipes and Vikings clash in a day game at High Desert Field.