The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Game Notes: Oilmen attempt to upstage first-place Admirals on Sunday

06/26/2016 10:05 AM -

Joliet Admirals (15-9)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (11-11)

June 26, 2016 • 4 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB, 104.7 FM,

Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Max Siedlecki (New Mexico Highlands / Chicago, Ill.) vs. Joliet’s Brandon Popp (Lewis University / Oakton CC / Roselle, Ill.)

For Starters
The 10-0 win over Southland on Saturday was the first time this season the Oilmen have shutout the opposition. The last time the Oilmen kept the other team off the scoreboard was July 25, 2015, also a 10-0 win over Southland. The Oilmen have been a streaky team throughout the season. After starting 1-6, they won four straight, then lost back-to-back games, then won four straight again, then lost three in a row before back-to-back wins Friday and Saturday. One person who hasn’t been streaky is Clay Keltner, who continued his strong season with seven scoreless innings while throwing just 73 pitches on Saturday. Keltner (26 2/3 IP) leads the league in ERA among pitchers who have thrown more than 11 innings at 1.35. The Oilmen team ERA is down to a league-best 3.36, almost a full run lower than DuPage County, which ranks second in the league at 4.25. The other four teams all have ERAs 4.90 or higher.

Inside the Oilmen
Another Oilmen starter who has been effective takes the mound on Sunday seeking his first win of the season. Max Sidedlecki has a loss and three no decisions despite a sparkling 1.71 ERA. In his last outing, he heaved five scoreless innings against the Vikings in an eventual 9-5 loss on June 18. Siedlecki has issued 10 walks and struck out 14 in 21 innings. He leads the league in ERA among pitchers with more than 11 innings of work. The Oilmen lead the league in team batting average at .310, 21 points ahead of the Hounds, who rank second. The Oilmen have committed 50 errors this season, tied with Southland for the league most. Alex Nisle collected three hits on Saturday and made it six straight games with at least one RBI. After picking up one RBI in his first 10 games, Nisle has eight in his last six. He’s hitting .471 over his last six games after batting .125 over the first 10. Chase Dawson has reached safely in all 13 games he’s played with the Oilmen and has six hits over the last two games. Zack Forney has hits in eight straight and is hitting .438 during that stretch. His two-hit game on Saturday was his third straight and fifth in the last eight games. Other Oilmen players with noteworthy hitting streaks are Tyler Sroczynski (11), Stefano Belmonte (8) and Chase Dawson (7). The Oilmen have a league-most nine players hitting .300 or better.

Inside the Admirals
Joliet had a seven-game winning streak snapped by DuPage County on Saturday. Cody Grosse ranks third in the league with a .400 batting average. Branden Brudange (20) and Jordan Miller (19) are second and third in the league in RBIs, behind only DuPage County’s Tyler Tesmond (22). Brendan Brundage is the league leader in runs scored with 24, followed closely by teammate Cody Grosse (23) and NWI’s Tyler Sroczynski (22). Joliet is 45-for-58 in stealing bases, led by Brundage (12-for-14) and Grosse (11-for-12). The Admirals enter Sunday with 1 ½ game lead over DuPage County for the league’s top spot. Joliet starting pitcher Brandon Popp will be making his fifth appearance and fourth start. He has not faced the Oilmen yet this year. Popp owns a 3.12 ERA and 1-2 record. He has walked seven and struck out two in 17 1/3 innings. In his last outing, Popp picked up the win with six shutout innings of two-hit ball against the Hounds on June 18.

About the Matchup
The Oilmen suffered a 14-6 defeat in the last meeting between the two teams, which took place on June 19. The Oilmen lead the all-time series 24-7 and the season series 3-2. 

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