06/03/2017 12:05 PM -
CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. – June 3, 2017 -- The Northwest Indiana Oilmen played a twin bill in Chicago Heights Saturday against the Southland Vikings. Game 1 didn’t go as the Oilmen had planned, as the Vikings scored four runs off starter Sam Geraci in the second. Northwest Indiana left nine runners on base throughout the seven-inning game, continuing the team’s struggles to get clutch hits in scoring opportunities.
For the Vikings, timely hits were key as RBIs from Joe Curci, Kevin Fitzgerald, Grant Mullin, Trey Polewski and Matt Sonntag helped elevate Southland to a 7-1 win.
Bo Hofstra, who recently ended his season with Iliana Christian High School, made his Oilmen debut. Hofstra pitched four innings in relief and allowed three runs, though only one was earned. Coach Adam Enright knows Hofstra struggled at first, but sees potential. “Bo did pretty well,” Enright said. “He gave up the two in his first outing, and the first couple innings were a little rough…A lot of upside for him. Overall, I think he did a pretty good job to keep us where we were.”
In Game 2, the Oilmen got on the board first after Alec Olund drove in a run for a sacrifice fly in the first inning. That was the only lead the Oilmen enjoyed in the day. In the second inning, first baseman Jack Gainer hit a towering home run to right field to tie the game at one. The Vikings took the lead in the fourth after Gainer continued to pummel Oilmen pitchers, driving in another run for the Vikings with an RBI single to Oilmen center fielder Amir Wright.
The Oilmen tied the game in the top of the fifth when Jack Ciombor scored on a wild pitch from Vikings’ starter Connor Spear, but NWI gave that run back in the bottom half of the inning. Matt Cole drove in two of his teammates on a single to left. The Vikings didn't look back, finishing off the Oilmen by a final of 4-3.
Tyler Laux, who started for Northwest Indiana, pitched well in 6 innings. Laux threw 104 pitches and struck out five. Normally, Adam Enright doesn't throw a pitcher for that long, but the Oilmen were shorthanded and he needed Laux to keep going.
“I kind of left it up to him,” Enright said. “He was right around 85 before that last inning. I usually won’t [keep him in] given the situation, but he was still doing all right. He seemed to be throwing pretty decent.”
Next up for the Oilmen are the Crestwood Panthers. The Panthers are the newest team in the Midwest Collegiate League, and tomorrow will be the first time the two teams meet. as Northwest Indiana will be looking to snap this mini skid early in the season.
To see the box score from today's games, click on "Download Attachment".