07/23/2014 10:04 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 23, 2014 – The Southland Vikings picked an opportune time to move into first place for the first time all season.
The DuPage County Hounds slipped out of first place for the first time since May 31, as the Vikings downed the Northwest Indiana Oilmen 7-1 on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium. The Hounds fell to the Joliet Admirals in walk-off fashion 4-3 to allow the Vikings to take over the top spot in the Midwest Collegiate League with five days remaining before the start of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Oilmen (23-16, 21-15) fell to 3 ½ games behind the Vikings (23-12) for first place, remained three games behind the Hounds and dropped into fourth place in the league standings. The Oilmen are now ½ game in back of third-place Lexington.
Jimmy McNamara was tagged for four earned runs on 10 hits over five innings to take the loss in the regular season home finale. McNamara, who was making his final start prior to the playoffs, finished the regular season with a 3-3 record and a 3.98 earned run average. McNamara went 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in 2013, his first season with the Oilmen.
Southland ace Brandon White kept the Oilmen in check, allowing only one run on four hits over six innings. James Meeker, who finished the game 2-for-4, delivered a two-out single in the fourth inning to score Nate Schneider for the only Oilmen run of the game. Purdue Calumet hurler Mike Poulos earned the rare three-inning save, limiting the Oilmen to no runs on two hits after he took over for White.
Larry Crisler busted out of an 0-for-29 slump with a seventh-inning single, his first hit in an MCL game since July 3. The Oilmen managed only six hits in the game, and committed three errors. All three errors occurred in the sixth inning with Andrew Lowe on the mound, allowing three unearned runs to cross the plate in the frame as the Vikings broke the game open.
Kankakee Valley graduate Andrew Jackson, Lake Central product Aaron Glatt and Bishop Noll alum Matt Pobereyko each worked scoreless frames in innings seven through nine.
Wednesday was Fan Appreciation Night at the ballpark as the Zooperstars entertained the crowd throughout the evening. In addition, free items and signed memorabilia were raffled off during the course of the game
The Oilmen will look to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season on Thursday in the opening game of a doubleheader against Joliet. In a change to the original schedule, the Oilmen and Admirals will play a doubleheader on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Joliet Junior College before both teams take the day off on Friday.