The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Game Notes: Murray takes mound for showdown with Southland

07/20/2015 9:28 PM -

Southland Vikings (10-20)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (19-13) 

July 21, 2015 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB
Internet Broadcast:
Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Brandon Murray (South Carolina / Hobart, Ind.) vs. Southland’s Jordan Young (Vincennes / Lafayette, Ind.)
For Starters
The Oilmen had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-1 loss to DuPage County on Sunday. The Oilmen have totaled two runs in the last two games. Brad Wood went 0-for-4 on Sunday after hitting .533 in his previous four games. Wood’s six-game hitting streak was snapped. Stefano Belmonte has gone three straight games without an RBI for the first time all season. Tyler Sroczynski is 9-for-18 (.500) in the last five games. With Friday’s 1-0 win over Southland, the Oilmen improved to 6-0 all-time in rain-shortened games, including 3-0 this season.
Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen scratched out a run in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game to avoid being blanked and extend their impressive streak of not being shutout. In the four-year history of the franchise, the Oilmen have never been shutout in a nine-inning game. They have only been shut out twice in franchise history, both seven-inning games during the 2013 season. Brandon Murray will look to bounce back from back-to-back rough outings to start his Oilmen career. The South Carolina hurler and 2014 MLB draftee holds a team-high 8.75 ERA, allowing 10 runs in eight innings. He faced the Vikings in his Oilmen debut, allowing six earned runs on four hits and three walks in four innings to take the loss. Jake Hickey launched a grand slam against Murray.
Inside the Vikings
Just when their hopes of reaching the postseason were looking bleak, the Southland Vikings climbed back into contention with a doubleheader sweep of Joliet on Saturday. The Vikings enter Tuesday night 1 ½ games back of the Admirals for the final playoff spot. Southland is looking to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in the six-year history of the team. The Vikings can draw even with fifth-place Michigan City with a win on Tuesday. The Vikings were rained out on Sunday against Michigan City. Saturday’s second game in Joliet featured a dramatic comeback as the Vikings scored six times in the sixth of a seven-inning game to win 7-6. Southland’s leading hitter is Luis Avila, who is batting .294.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen swept a doubleheader from the Vikings on Friday night at Oil City Stadium, 4-3 and 1-0. The Oilmen have won four of the first five meetings between the two teams and can nail down the season series with a win on Tuesday. The longtime foes have split the 36 all-time meetings right down the middle, with each team capturing 18 wins over the other. The Oilmen head to Hap Bruno Field for a doubleheader on Saturday, before the Vikings return to Whiting on July 28.
Around the MCL
The Admirals and Hounds play a doubleheader at Joliet Junior College on Tuesday. Entering Tuesday, the Lakers are a game behind the Admirals for the fourth and final postseason position, while the Vikings are 1 ½ games back of Joliet for fourth. The Hounds have some breathing room atop the standings, owning a four game lead over NWI and Lexington.
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