07/03/2015 7:07 PM -
Lexington, Ill. – July 3, 2015 – Entering Game No. 22 of the season, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen had not suffered a defeat decided by more than two runs.
That changed on Friday, when the Lexington Snipes jumped out to a five-run lead in the first inning and never looked back en route to a 7-3 victory over the Oilmen.
Three groundball singles through the left side of the infield helped the Snipes get to starter Jimmy Skiff, who entered the game as the league leader in ERA. Cully Day ripped a two-out single to plate two runs and make it a five-run frame.
“We didn’t really play well yesterday either,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “That’s a double-edged sword when you come out a little flat but you still give yourself a chance to win.”
The Oilmen got back in the game with a three-run sixth that featured a two-run double by Alec Olund, who went 2-for-4.
The end of the sixth spelled the end of the day for Lexington starter Matt Jenkins, who picked up the win to improve to 2-1. He allowed three runs on five hits.
“When we scored three runs in this game, even though we haven’t been playing great, they ran out three different arms because teams in the league know that a four-run lead isn’t necessarily safe with us,” Enright said. “It’s a good feeling that teams have to do that.”
Skiff hurled five innings and allowed seven runs (three earned) while walking four and striking out three. He took the defeat to drop to 3-1. After the five-run first, the Snipes added single tallies in the fourth and fifth as walks came back to haunt Skiff.
“Fastball command was Jimmy’s problem,” Enright said. “The first two innings, he was 2-0 to every hitter almost. He was at 73 pitches through three innings. He threw a lot of pitches just to get one hitter. He didn’t have his best day out there.”
Christian Sullivan tossed three spotless innings in relief, inducing nine outs on balls put in play. He issued one walk and did not allow a hit in his most effective outing of the season.
The game was NWI’s quickest of the season, as it was completed in 1 hour, 54 minutes.
The Snipes (12-10) host the Admirals on Saturday, while the Oilmen (14-7) return home to welcome Michigan City. The Oilmen league lead was short-lived, as the Hounds routed Southland 11-3 on Friday, meaning the two teams are once again tied atop the Midwest Collegiate League standings.
Don’t miss the chance to celebrate America’s birthday while watching America’s pastime on Saturday against Michigan City. All tickets will be $4 to celebrate the Fourth of July. It’s an early start as the game gets going at 1 p.m. with Keith Mahler scheduled to start for the Oilmen.