07/07/2016 9:08 PM
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (17-15)
at DuPage County Hounds (18-12)
July 8, 2016 • 5 p.m. • Lemont, Ill.
Radio: Online Only, NWIOilmen.com (4:40 pregame)
NWI’s Christian Howell (Minnesota State Mankato / Aurora, Ill.) vs. DuPage County’s Thomas Goodyear (Rockford University / Romeoville, Ill.)
After only one Oilmen player had a multi-homer game through the first 4 ½ seasons of Oilmen baseball, the Oilmen have had two-homer games each of the last two days. Jake Perreira cracked two long balls on Wednesday against the Lakers, before Tyler Sroczynski followed suit on Thursday against the Bobcats. Sroczynski’s two homers allowed him to become the Oilmen single-season home run record holder. Previously, Sroczynski in 2015, Jordan Lewis in 2015 and Billy Miller in 2012 shared the single-season home run record of three. Sroczynski also moved ahead of Colin Willis to become the league-leader in home runs. In addition, Sroczynski’s seven career home runs is the team’s career watermark. The Oilmen are 3-0 since hitting the road and enter Friday seeking their fourth straight victory. NWI handed the Bobcats their eighth straight loss on Thursday. Jordan Petty became the third pitcher in Oilmen history to reach double figure strikeouts in a game by fanning 10 over eight shutout innings in Thursday’s 7-3 win over the Bobcats. Petty joins elite company of Danny Pobereyko and Enrique Zamora as players with double figure strikeouts in an Oilmen game. He finished one shy of Zamora’s single-game record established last season.
Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen turn the ball over to right-hander Christian Howell, who leads the team in strikeouts with 25 but has also issued the most walks on the squad with 19. Howell is 2-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 29 2/3 innings encompassing six games and five starts. Howell’s most recent outing came on July 1 against the Hounds, when he allowed two runs (none earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out seven to get the win. After lashing three hits on Thursday, Stefano Belmonte has three straight multi-hit games. He owns eight total multiple hit performances this season. Belmonte now leads the team in batting average at .385. Sam Geraci picked up an RBI single on Thursday a day after notching the win on the mound on Wednesday. Geraci played second base against the Bobcats, his first time playing a position other than pitcher this season after playing infield regularly with the Oilmen in 2015. Jake Perreira played third base in a league game for the first time this year after also playing third in an exhibition against the U.S. Military All-Stars on Monday. Perreira, regularly a catcher, played third throughout his first two years of high school.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds enter Friday’s game with a 1 ½ game lead over Joliet for the top spot in the MCL. The Oilmen sit in third place, two games off the pace being set by DuPage. The Hounds go with starting pitcher Thomas Goodyear, who is 4-1 with a 5.01 ERA in 23 1/3 innings this season. He has walked 15 and struck out 24 over eight games, four starts. Goodyear started against the Oilmen on June 10 and allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits over six innings to pick up the win. He worked 1 1/3 scoreless out of the bullpen to get the win against the Oilmen on May 28. Nine different DuPage players were named to the MCL All-Star team on Wednesday. They will participate in the game at Oil City Stadium on Tuesday.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen and Hounds have had some classic meetings this season, including back-to-back 11-inning affairs each of the last two Fridays at Oil City Stadium. The Hounds own the most recent laugh, a 3-2 win on July 1 in Northwest Indiana. That came a week after a 7-6 win for the Oilmen. The Hounds lead the all-time series 21-18 and the season series 3-2.
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