07/12/2017 9:18 PM -
CRESTWOOD, Ill. - The Northwest Indiana Oilmen traveled to Crestwood to face off with the Panthers Wednesday night, which was their first Midwest Collegiate League action NWI has seen in nearly a week.
The Oilmen (20-13) defeated the Panthers (8-20), 5-4, at Standard Bank Stadium Wednesday evening after rallying in the top of the ninth thanks to Chris Baker's 2-out double.
With the win, NWI moved up to sole possession of second place in the MCL.
The Oilmen struck first in the top of the second as Jack Ciombor (Wheaton, Ill./Wisconsin-Whitewater) roped a single to left scoring Carter Naughton (Mundelein, Ill./Quincy) from third. NWI scored again to lead 2-0 in the third as Danny Torres (South Bend, Ind./St. Leo) singled to center, scoring Alec Olund (Crown Point, Ind./Purdue) from third.
Max Franklin (Chicago Heights, Ill./Heartland CC) made the start for NWI in his second stint against the Panthers this season, where he went five scoreless, scattering four hits, issuing two walks and striking out 12 on June 4.
“I think he had 55 pitches through five, it was awesome to see him command those pitches in the zone.” Enright said.
Franklin’s performance was his first outing in MCL play since the All-Star Break. Franklin went five innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven.
Joe Graziano (Schererville, Ind./Butler) pitched the sixth and seventh inning not allowing an earned run. Richard Yelnick (New Lenox, Ill./Trinity Christian) picked up the victory for NWI after pitching the last two innings for the Oilmen.
The Oilmen rallied to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning, after a Torres single, a Blake Cleveland (Nappanee, Ind./Central Michigan) sacrifice bunt and Noah Davis (Portage, Ind./Benedictine) got hit by the pitch. Chris Baker (South Holland, Ill./South Suburban) came to the plate. Baker, who has been struggling all season, only hitting .167 on the season, came up clutch for NWI as he had two outs and roped a double to left field scoring Davis and Torres.
Enright explained how important it was for Baker.
“He needed that more than we needed him to get that win,” Enright said.
The Oilmen return to action tomorrow night at Oil City Stadium as NWI takes on the Southland Vikings starting at 7:10 p.m.