07/18/2015 10:50 PM -
July 19, 2015 • 4:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Internet Broadcast: nwioilmen.com
NWI’s Keith Mahler (Cumberland / Highland, Ind.) vs. DuPage County’s Trent Carrier (Holy Names / Anaheim, Calif.)
Sunday’s game will provide a pivotal swing in the Midwest Collegiate League standings, as the Hounds can build their lead to four games over the Oilmen with a win, or see it shrink to two games with a loss. Keith Mahler will look to become the first Midwest Collegiate League pitcher to reach five wins this season. He threw five no-hit, no-run innings in relief on Wednesday against Joliet. Mahler has opposed the Hounds once this season, allowing two runs on four hits in five innings on July 18.
Inside the Oilmen
There are 15 games remaining before the playoffs, including a makeup game with Joliet that has not yet been rescheduled. The Oilmen have now played in 11 one-run games this year, winning two more of them on Friday against Southland. Enrique Zamora shattered the team’s single-game strikeout record, becoming the first player in franchise history to record 11 strikeouts in one game. He also took over the league lead with 43 strikeouts and is 10 away from passing Danny Pobereyko’s single-season franchise record. Tyler Sroczynski is flirting with the highest batting average in team history. He stands at .384 with two weeks remaining, while John Loeffler finished 2012 at .387.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds had an eight-game winning streak snapped with their loss to Lexington in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Oilmen hold the advantage in the head-to-head season series between the two rivals, but the Hounds have done a better job of capturing wins against the bottom three teams in the standings. DuPage County is a combined 16-3 against Michigan City, Joliet and Southland. Trent Carrier, known mostly for his offensive prowess, will get the start on the mound on Sunday. He took the loss against the Oilmen on June 16, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings. This is Carrier’s first start of the summer after four relief appearances. He holds a 6.23 ERA.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen hold a 4-2 lead in the season series against the Hounds. The two teams have three more meetings with one another, giving the Oilmen the opportunity to make up ground on DuPage County. They face off on Thursday in Lemont and on July 29 at Oil City Stadium. Although the Oilmen hold the edge in the season series, the most recent meeting was all Hounds. The Oilmen fell 13-4 on July 11, the most lopsided NWI defeat of the season.
Around the MCL
The Hounds and Snipes split a doubleheader, while the Oilmen were rained out on Saturday. The top of the league standings stood pat, but a significant shakeup occurred in the race for the league’s final playoff spot. After losing twice the Oilmen on Friday night, the Southland Vikings swept a twin bill against the Admirals. Southland scored six times in the sixth inning of a seven-inning game to stun Joliet 7-6 in Game 2. The Admirals now lead Michigan City by only ½ game for the final playoff spot, while the Vikings are suddenly only one game away from a playoff position. The Admirals have lost five straight.
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