The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Game Notes: Oilmen look to nail down season series with DuPage County

07/10/2015 11:46 PM -

Northwest Indiana Oilmen (15-10)
at DuPage County Hounds (17-9)

July 11, 2015 • 1 p.m. • Lemont, Ill.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB
Internet Broadcast:
Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Brian Jestice (Evansville / Hoffman Estates, Ill.) vs. DuPage County’s Tom Concklin (Washington and Lee / Hinsdale, Ill.)
For Starters
The Oilmen have lost three out of four for the first time this season. Nine of their 10 losses have come by two runs or fewer. Half of their losses have come against the Michigan City Lakers. Half of Michigan City’s wins have come against the Oilmen. When Jeremy Wright left Friday’s game with an injury, the Oilmen were forced to bring relief pitcher Hunter Clark into the game in left field due to a lack of available position players.  Clark went 1-for-2, lining a solid single up the middle in the eighth to continue a trend of offensive success for Oilmen pitchers. The last time a player normally only used on the mound was forced to take an at-bat, it was Jimmy McNamara, who laid down an RBI bunt single against DuPage County on July 13, 2014. The Oilmen loss the designated hitter that night after Andrew Ray was ejected and DH Alec Ornelas had to come in to catch.
Inside the Oilmen
For the first time this season, the Oilmen are more than one game out of first place. Also for the first time this year, the Oilmen and Hounds hook up with first place not hanging in the balance. The Oilmen go with Brian Jestice on the mound against DuPage County. He has worked eight innings in each of his last two outings, blanking the Southland Vikings to the tune of no runs on two hits, before yielding five runs (four earned) on nine hits against the Michigan City Lakers. He has not pitched against the Hounds yet this season. Jestice tossed a shutout inning in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Oil City Stadium. Christian Howell, normally a starting pitcher, heaved five innings and yielded just one unearned run in relief of Brandon Murray on Thursday against Southland. He may be available out of the Oilmen bullpen on Saturday.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds and Oilmen had been within one game of each other the entire season up until last night’s DuPage County win and Oilmen loss. Now with slight breathing room, the Hounds have a chance to build their lead to 2 ½ games with a home victory on Saturday. The Oilmen will be again be opposed by Hounds ace Tom Concklin, who has a 1.57 ERA in 28 2/3 innings. He has issued six walks and struck out 13. Concklin has already pitched twice against the Oilmen this season, holding them to an unearned run in five innings on June 11 and two runs on three hits in six innings on July 2.
About the Matchup
The last meeting between the Oilmen and Hounds featured a dramatic finish, with the Oilmen scoring twice in the ninth to walk-off with a 4-3 win. The all-time series between the two rivals, which dates back to the first game in franchise history for both squads in 2012, is split right down the middle, with each team holding 15 victories over the other. The Oilmen are 4-1 against DuPage County this season and can secure the season series with a win on Saturday. That would allow the Oilmen to hold the tiebreaker over the Hounds should the two teams finish deadlocked in the standings.
Around the MCL
The Hounds touched Lexington starter Matt Jenkins for seven runs in 3 1/3 innings, downing the Snipes 10-6. Joliet nipped Southland 2-1 in 10 innings as Chris Hawks threw eight frames and allowed only one run (unearned).
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