05/28/2016 10:12 PM
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (0-2)
at Joliet Admirals (0-3)
May 29, 2015 • 1 p.m. • Joliet, Ill.
Radio: Internet Only, 12:40 p.m. pregame (NWIOilmen.com)
Game 1: NWI’s Reggie Johnson (Alcorn State / South Holland, Ill.) vs. Joliet’s Rob Talarico (Lewis University, Joliet, Ill.)
Game 2: NWI’s Christian Howell (Minnesota State Aurora, Ill.) vs. Joliet’s Tom Cheshareck (Illinois State / Morris, Ill.)
For the first time in the five-year history of the team, the Oilmen are two games below .500. The previous low water mark for the franchise was a game under the breakeven point on four separate occasions. The Oilmen are looking to bounce back from a 9-3 loss to DuPage County on Saturday. Sunday’s doubleheader pits the only two winless teams in the Midwest Collegiate League against each other. The Admirals were hurt by errors (5) on Thursday, allowing hits (11) on Friday and issuing walks (8) on Saturday. The Admirals led Southland 6-1 in the sixth inning on Saturday, but the Vikings stormed back with six in the sixth and four in the seventh to win 11-7. The Admirals lost despite being the beneficiary of seven walks and seven Southland errors. There were 18 total free passes in the game, including three hit batters.
Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen will trot Reggie Johnson to the mound in Game 1 for his Oilmen debut. He appeared in 18 games (10 starts) at Alcorn State, issuing 36 walks and striking out 29 in 42 2/3 innings. He finished with a 3-7 record and a 9.91 ERA as a redshirt-sophomore. Christian Howell, who is back for a second summer with the Oilmen, will make his season debut in Game 2. Howell, who pitched only 2 2/3 innings during the spring, owned a sparkling 1.87 ERA over 52 1/3 innings in his first year as an Oilman.
Inside the Admirals
The Admirals underwent a complete roster overhaul with no returning players from last season. They are loaded with two-way players for increased flexibility between pitchers and position players. In addition, the majority of the players on the Joliet roster have the ability to play multiple positions. A year ago, Joliet reached the postseason for the first time since 2011 - then known as the Rockford Foresters. Game 1 starter Rob Talarico went 0-3 in 15 games (one start) for Lewis this spring. He posted a 6.43 ERA in 28 innings. Game 2 starter Tom Cheshareck redshirted this season as a freshman at Illinois State.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen have long had their way with this franchise, owning a 21-5 all-time record against the Admirals, including games when the team was under its previous name as the Rockford Foresters. The most recent meeting, however, left the Oilmen with a sour taste in their mouths. The Admirals whitewashed the Oilmen 10-0 in seven innings on July 24 of last season. The Oilmen were limited to one hit in that game, but still won the season series 6-2.
Chase Dawson’s spring season at Valparaiso ended with a 7-2 loss to Wright State in the Horizon League Championship on Saturday. Dawson was named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team after hitting .375 in the tournament as a true freshman. Stefano Belmonte’s spring season also ended on Saturday. Florida Gulf Coast lost to Stetson 5-4 in the final, ending the season with a trip to its first-ever Atlantic Sun Championship game. Belmonte had two hits against North Florida in the semifinal earlier Saturday before stroking a single and working a walk against North Florida. Blake Cleveland and Central Michigan lost 4-0 to Western Michigan in a MAC Tournament semifinal on Saturday. Former Oilman Jimmy McNamara made his first start of the year and was the losing pitcher.
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