07/10/2015 9:38 PM -
Michigan City, Ind. – July 10, 2015 – Ask Oilmen manager Adam Enright the week before the start of the season, and he’d list baserunning as a strength of his 2015 roster
“It’s a lot of dynamic guys who can run and beat you in more ways than one,” he said then. “I want to make sure we have guys that are going to be able to put a lot of pressure on the defense by running the bases well.”
Asking him about the baserunning after Friday’s 5-4 loss to Michigan City, and his answer sounds a bit different.
“We’re the worst baserunning team in the league,” he said. “When you get on base, you have to hope you don’t get picked off. We don’t situationally hit. When we can trade a run for an out, we never get a run.”
The first base running miscue came in the third inning, when Jordan Lewis was picked off second on a snap throw from Lakers catcher Scott Kapers. Lewis was also on the bases for the game’s most critical play, with runners at second and third and nobody out in the eighth inning. Josh Turnock rolled a ground ball to first base, and Hunter Clark attempted to advance from second to third, while Lewis held at third. Lewis then was forced to break for the plate and was cut down to complete a momentum-swinging double play.
“Immediately I said, ‘Yes,’ so the runner on third should have went home,” Enright said. “The first baseman was going to his left to field a ball, and being right-handed, he would have had to spin around and throw home. That should have scored a run.”
The loss was the fourth in the last five games for the Northwest Indiana. The Oilmen dropped to 2-5 against the Lakers this season.
“It’s nothing that they’re doing or not doing,” Enright said. “They play pretty good baseball. They make all the plays. The only games where we beat them were games where they fell apart defensively. Every time they beat us, they play good defense and their pitcher gives them a chance to win.”
A scary incident occurred in the third inning as Jeremy Wright was struck in the face by a pitch. An ambulance arrived on location and transported Wright so that he could receive proper medical attention.
“With two strikes, he wasn’t bailing on an off-speed pitch,” Enright said. “The pitch was up and in. He thought it was going to break over the plate, and it didn’t. It clipped his helmet and hit him in the face.”
According to Enright, Wright’s teeth were fine and only a few stiches will be required.
Enright did not have any position players available off the bench, so he was forced to use relief pitcher Hunter Clark to run at first base. Clark then remained in the game to play left field, and later ripped a single in the eighth inning.
Jerry Hodges hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fifth to provide the game’s big blow. Sam Geraci cracked his first long ball of the year in the ninth. Zack Jones picked up a two-run single as a part of a three-run third for the Oilmen.
Enrique Zamora allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits in seven innings. He took the loss to drop to 3-1. Shane Prance was the winning pitcher, improving to 1-1 by holding the Oilmen to three runs on eight hits over eight innings.
The Oilmen drop to 15-10 and 1 ½ games behind first-place DuPage County. The Lakers (10-17) have picked up half of their MCL wins against the Oilmen.
The Oilmen visit the Hounds on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lemont Athletic Complex. The game can be heard on AM 1230 WJOB and NWIOilmen.com with Brandon Vickrey and Brandon Pavlina.