The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Vikings take 2-1 pitcher’s duel over Oilmen

07/28/2017 10:21 AM -

July 27, 2017 – CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. – Both the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and Southland Vikings had plenty to play for going into Thursday’s game at Hap Bruno Field. The Oilmen were on the heels of first place in the MCL, just one game behind the DuPage County Hounds. The Vikings came in just two back of the Bloomington Bobcats for third place in the league. In the last week of the regular season, the Vikings came out on top in a tightly contested 2-1 game.  

The Oilmen scored their only run of the game in the first inning. Vikings’ starter Hunter Kraynak gave up a double to Tyler Sroczynski. Sroczynski stole third, and was driven in on a sacrifice fly from Chris Baker.  

On the mound, Oilmen starter Blake Marks went four innings and held Northwest Indiana’s 1-0 lead intact. He only allowed three hits, and no Vikings ever got past second base. The performance dropped Marks’ ERA to 2.80, the lowest it’s been in the month of July.

Eric Hammer came in for Marks in the fifth and in four innings only gave up five hits, but two runs also came in and gave Southland the lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Hammer gave up a bases-loaded walk which scored Shane Peisker and tied the game at one. After avoiding any more damage in that inning, Hammer allowed the Vikings’ Try Polewski to hit a sacrifice fly which scored Joe Curci and put Southland up for the first time in the late innings.  

After giving up a run in the first to the Oilmen, Southland’s Hunter Kraynak locked in on the mound. He gave up just one more hit the rest of the game in a complete game win. At one point, he had sent down 11 Oilmen in a row. He gave up two hits in nine innings, largely relying on the fielders behind him to get outs with just three strikeouts of his own on the game. He threw 117 pitches in the complete game.  

Kraynak got the win for the Vikings, who are now just one game behind the Bloomington Bobcats going into the final weekend of the regular season. Northwest Indiana falls two games behind the DuPage County Hounds, and Eric Hammer took the loss for NWI.  

The Oilmen play a doubleheader Friday against the Joliet Admirals at Joliet Junior College. The first game starts at 2 p.m.