06/11/2015 1:25 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 11, 2015 – Enrique Zamora was back in his comfort zone in more ways than one on Thursday night.
Pitching at Oil City Stadium – his home field during the spring at Calumet College – for the first time as a member of the Oilmen, Zamora turned in seven quality innings to pick up the victory, allowing three runs on nine hits as the Oilmen prevailed 5-3 over DuPage County.
The Hammond Clark graduate issued one walk while striking out seven.
Zamora was also returning to a more familiar role, after closing games for the first week of the season.
“I said at the beginning, I’ve been a starter my whole life,” he said. “I know I’ve got the arm for closing, but it’s really hard to adjust to that. I respect anybody in relief.”
The Hounds held the lead for the majority of the game, scoring twice in the third and once in the sixth. However, the Oilmen bats came to life to score four runs in the bottom of the seventh against DuPage County reliever Nick Costantino, who dropped to 1-1 by taking the defeat.
Tyler Sroczynski, Donovan Chandler, Alec Olund and Stefano Belmonte strung together consecutive hits to start the seventh. Olund, who finished 3-for-4, launched a double for the inning’s big blow.
“The first two weeks, we’ve turned it on in the last three innings,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “We’re always putting good at-bats together and threatening to score, even in some of the games when we’ve come up short. We’re always playing well in the last three innings. We’d rather be playing well late than early.”
Zamora (1-0) tossed 124 pitches, a number that he’s comfortable with throwing after years of building up his durability by throwing 100 pitches per day with his father.
“For a guy like him, you just monitor him,” Enright said. “If he’s up in the zone or if his off-speed stuff starts flattening out, then you make the move. Even through the seventh inning, none of that happened. For him, 120 is a normal guy’s 85.”
Richard Yelnick came on in relief of Zamora and nailed down a two-inning save while facing the minimum.
With the victory, the Oilmen (6-2) leaped ahead of the Hounds (5-2) and back into first place in the Midwest Collegiate League standings.
“We’ve got a lot of good guys,” Belmonte said. “We’ve got good chemistry going on. We just don’t like losing in general. We’ve got a good team and we’re on a streak.”