The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Jestice to Take the Ball for Thursday's Matchup with Bobcats

06/14/2017 7:41 PM -

Bloomington Bobcats (5-6)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (9-6) 

June 15, 2017 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.      
Broadcast: Facebook Live

Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Brian Jestice (Evansville / Hoffman Estates, Ill.) vs. Bloomington’s Nick Brune (Illinois Wesleyan / Mundelein, Ill.)

For Starters
The Bobcats make their second visit to Oil City Stadium this season and their third ever trip to NWI on Thursday for a showdown with the Oilmen. The Oilmen enter Thursday’s game against Bloomington riding high, as they’ve rapped off four consecutive wins. The most recent triumph came on Tuesday as the Oilmen dispatched the Vikings 11-4, their first win over Southland this season. Wednesday’s scheduled game against DuPage County was postponed due to rain. The Oilmen have scored nine runs or more in each of their last four games. As a team, the Oilmen are hitting .295, have stolen a league-leading 32 bases, own a 4.51 ERA and have a .944 fielding percentage. The Oilmen own their longest winning streak since stringing together seven straight in early July of last season.

Inside the Oilmen
Amir Wright, playing in his second season in the MCL and first with the Oilmen, has been a stable force in the Oilmen lineup this season. He’s hitting .423 in 12 games with three doubles and a .508 on-base percentage. Wright has reached base in 11 of his 12 games this season. Dashon Moore is the only player on the Oilmen roster who has appeared in all 15 games so far this summer. He has undoubtedly earned his place in manager Adam Enright’s lineup, as Moore holds a .353 average and has a team-high 13 runs scored. In five games so far this year, second-year Oilman Blake Cleveland has found success at the plate, going 9-for-18. Five of his nine hits have been doubles, a team watermark in two baggers. Other Oilmen who have enjoyed strong offensive seasons include Hunter Thorn (.340 AVG), Tyler Sroczynski (.321) and Noah Davis (.320). Davis leads the club in RBIs with 18. Sroczynski is hitting .400 over his last seven games after batting .190 over his first five. Sroczynski owns Oilmen career records in hits (114), home runs (11), runs scored (97), games played (79) and RBIs (68). Right-hander Brian Jestice will get the nod on the mound. Thus far this season, Jestice has logged 11 innings and compiled a 2.45 ERA while walking six and striking out 12. This will be Jestice’s second start and fifth appearance. He’s back with the Oilmen this summer after playing for the team in 2015, when he totaled 54 1/3 innings and posted a 3.64 ERA while striking out 40 and issuing 31 bases on balls. He pitched the most innings of any Oilman that summer and shared the team lead in wins with Keith Mahler by going 5-1. 

Inside the Bobcats
Nick Brune has worked 11 innings thus far on the year and has not yet yielded an earned run. He has struck out five batters and issued four walks in two games, one start. Brune pitched four innings against Southland on May 31, then hurled seven scoreless frames on June 8 at Joliet. He did not factor into the decision in either game. Brune also pitched for the Bobcats last summer, when he went 4-4 with a 5.16 ERA in 45 1/3 innings over eight games, all starts. The Oilmen saw Brune just once and tagged him for 10 earned runs on 12 hits in four innings on June 16 at Oil City Stadium. As a team, Bloomington holds a 4.26 ERA and is hitting .271. Jack Butler leads the Bobcats with a .448 batting average, while Jacob Houghton is the team’s high man in the power categories with two home runs and nine RBIs. The Bobcats are under the direction of first-year manager Nick Green.  

About the Matchup
This is the fourth meeting of the year between the two teams, with the Oilmen owning victories in two of the first three. The Oilmen went just 2-5 against the Bobcats a year ago, so Bloomington owns a 6-4 edge in the all-time set.

Click "download attachment" for full Oilmen Game Notes."