07/24/2016 7:51 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 24, 2016 – Chase Dawson’s return to the Oilmen lineup didn’t go unnoticed on Sunday afternoon.
The Oilmen dynamic duo of Tyler Sroczynski and Dawson at the top of the batting order was alive and well in a 6-3 victory over the Joliet Admirals at Oil City Stadium.
Sroczynski and Dawson combined for five hits and four runs scored in Dawson’s first game since July 15. Dawson went 3-for-5 with three RBIs including a critical run-scoring triple in the sixth to plate Sroczynski.
“When those guys are carrying the load, it really takes the pressure off everybody else,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “Dawson came back and didn’t miss a beat. It’s nice when two pitches into your first inning of offense, you score a run. It gives the guys behind them a chance to play situational baseball.”
Sroczynski set the tone early by cracking the first pitch of the bottom of the first off the left-field scoreboard for a double. He scampered home one pitch later when Dawson laid down a bunt single that was compounded by a Joliet throwing error. Chase Fieldhouse (St. Joseph’s College / St. John, Ind.) lifted a sacrifice fly to drive in Dawson.
Joliet scored twice in the fifth to trim the Oilmen lead to one at 4-3, but the Oilmen responded with two runs in the sixth on Dawson’s triple and an RBI single by Tommy Szczasny (Northern Illinois / Tinley Park, Ill.)
The win allowed the Oilmen (25-19) to draw even with the Admirals (23-17) for second place in the MCL. Both teams are 1 ½ games behind first-place DuPage. The Oilmen also clinched the season-series against the Admirals and a potential tiebreaker in the MCL standings.
“It’s as big as any game we’ve played,” Enright said. “That’s what we’ll see the next two times we play them and the one we have against the Hounds. Those three games are most likely going to determine how we finish.”
Jordan Petty (Purdue Northwest / Highland, Ind.) allowed three runs (none earned) on seven hits over five innings to pick up the win and improve to 3-0.
Richard Yelnick (Trinity Christian / New Lenox, Ill.) came out of the bullpen after being scheduled to start Saturday’s rainout. He threw four shutout frames and yielded just one hit while throwing only 42 pitches.
“(They’re) two starters that we will rely on in the playoffs to win some games for us,” Enright said. “They’ve done it all year, and they’ve put us in a situation where they get back in the dugout pretty quickly and give us a chance to win.”
Szczasny, Fieldhouse and Jordan Flint (Eastern Illinois / Bartlett, Ill.) had two hits each.
Joliet’s Seth Rosenberg was hit with the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He drops to 3-3 on the season.
The Oilmen have the final off day of the regular season on Monday, before they close the year with seven games in six days beginning on Tuesday against the Admirals at 5 p.m. at Wayne L. King Junior Field.