06/06/2015 5:55 PM -
Lemont, Ill. – June 6, 2015 – A four-game DuPage County winning streak to start the season and a six-game Oilmen skid in road games against the Hounds both came to an end in a big way on Saturday afternoon.
The Oilmen swung hot bats from the outset, scoring seven runs and pounding out 13 hits in a 7-1 whitewash of the Hounds.
Northwest Indiana notched its first victory at DuPage since June 21, 2013.
“You always expect a fight with the Hounds,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “To come out and beat them by six runs feels really nice. All year, they’re going to battle us and we’re going to play a bunch of really close games with them. It was nice to get that first one and give our guys a little confidence going into the next games.”
The offense production came from all over the Oilmen lineup. No. 9 batter Josh Turnock (Eastern Illinois / Granger, Ind.) reached base four times and ripped three hits.
“I was watching the batters before me and how pitchers worked the counts,” Turnock said. “I went in there and had an idea of what I was looking for, and when I got a pitch I liked, I went after it. I tried to do what I’ve been taught and keep it simple.
Tyler Sroczynski (Wabash Valley / Trinity Christian / Dyer, Ind.) and Alec Olund (Purdue / Schererville, Ind.) each had multi-hit days, Stefano Belmonte reached base four times and Brad Wood (Northern Illinois / Orland Park, Ill.) collected three hits.
The Oilmen jumped on the board with two runs in the first inning on four hits and two errors. They added a pair in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk and bases-full hit by pitch. Sroczynski’s second RBI of the game came on a single in the ninth to plate Fred Smart for the seventh Oilmen run.
“It’s a different team when it’s a little warmer and a better day to hit,” Enright said. “We came out right from the first inning hitting balls hard. It’s what we expect out of our guys. “
Jimmy Skiff (Purdue Calumet / Dyer, Ind.), who was pegged as a probable reliever by Enright prior to the season, was pressed into starting duty due to a shorthanded Oilmen pitching staff. He made his case for a continued role in the rotation by tossing six innings without allowing an earned run while scattering eight hits.
“He did a really good job of keeping the ball low the entire time,” said Turnock, the Oilmen catcher. “If the umpire is going to give us that low strike, keep pounding it. He hit his spots with that low fastball and his curveball. He got us popups when we needed them and ground balls when we needed them. He kept us in the game.”
Skiff earned the win in his first MCL start, while DuPage County starter Tyler Jandron was tagged with the defeat after allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in three innings.
The lone Hounds run came on a Hunter Morris run-scoring single in the fourth. It was set up by an Olund throwing error, so the tally was unearned.
Richard Yelnick (Parkland College / New Lenox, Ill.) tossed two shutout innings of relief, while Hunter Clark (Eastern Illinois / Granger, Ill.) pitched a scoreless ninth in his Oilmen debut.
The Oilmen haul to High Desert Field in Lexington on Sunday for a 1 p.m. matinee against the Snipes. The game can be heard on AM 1230 WJOB beginning at 12:50.
The first home game at Oil City Stadium this season is set for Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. against the Joliet Admirals. It’s Entourage Night at the ballpark, as fans are encouraged to bring their entourage with them for a night of fun while catching their first glimpse of an exciting summer of Oilmen baseball.