06/02/2018 4:20 PM -
Joliet, Ill. – June 2, 2018 – A Northwest Indiana Oilmen offense that had been quiet throughout the first week of the season exploded for 12 runs on 15 hits on Saturday afternoon at Wayne L. King Junior Field, but this time it was the pitching and defense that didn’t do its part for the Oilmen.
The Generals (2-2) utilized a nine-run fifth inning to flip the script in an eventual 14-12 win over the Oilmen. All 11 Joliet hits came against the Oilmen bullpen, as starting pitcher Chad Patrick (Purdue Northwest / Hebron, Ind.) left after four frames of no-hit ball in which he yielded one run (unearned) and struck out six while walking three.
“Chad was great,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “He’s got really good life on his fastball. His stuff is good; what he has to improve is off-speed command. He has to put at-bats away without going 2-2 or 3-2 or walking guys. You could tell their hitters were overmatched with him. He’s on a tight innings limit for the summer, so that’s why I took him out after four. It’s excited to see a guy who can be not quite at his best and still overpower hitters.”
The Oilmen (1-3) jumped in front right away on a run-scoring single by Nate Montgomery (Tusculum / Geneva, Ill.) in the first, then pushed across another run in the second to double the lead. A bases-loaded walk and hit by pitch accounted for a two-run third, boosting the Oilmen lead to 4-1. They continued to tack on in the fourth, when a two-out double by Jake Perreira (University of Indianapolis / Grant Park, Ill.) sparked a rally and led to runners at second and third with two down, setting up Brenden Butler’s (Upper Iowa / Oak Lawn, Ill.) two-run single to make it 6-1.
“We were getting more balls off the ground and being a little more aggressive early in the count,” Enright said. “We were hitting more balls off the barrel, and that’s going to come with playing more games with wood bats and getting out and taking BP on the field.”
Bobby Nowak (Kankakee CC / Cedar Lake, Ind.) went 1/3 of an inning and was charged with seven runs (six earned), while Saywer Allen (Hillsdale College / Fair Oaks, Ind.) was hit with the final two runs that crossed the dish in the marathon fifth frame that saw 13 Generals come to the plate.
The offense bounced back with two in the sixth as Butler notched another clutch hit, this time knocking in a pair to make it 10-8. When the Oilmen drew even in the seventh, Butler was yet again at the heart of the rally, this time ripped a two-run single to right that scored two. He finished with four hits and drove in six.
An Oilmen error helped the Generals regain the lead with a four-run seventh, before another two-out uprising occurred in the top of the eighth, as NWI once again scored twice as Nick Figus (Illinois Wesleyan / Frankfort, Ill.) doubled in a run before scoring on a base hit by Jackson Dvorak (South Suburban / New Lenox, Ill.). However, that would conclude the scoring for the day in a 14-12 defeat.
Mike Santerelli threw 129 pitches out of the bullpen for Joliet, allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits while striking out seven and walking two over 6 2/3 innings. He picked up the win, while Allen was on the other end of the decision after giving up six runs in 2 2/3 innings.
The NWI defense remained wobbly, as the Oilmen committed three errors.
“We still have several key pieces on the infield who haven’t reported to the team yet,” Enright said. “We’ve got guys playing out of position. Once we get some other guys in the mix and get a full squad here, the defense will get very clean, very quickly. The infielders who are struggling will get better once we add some solid defenders around them to work with them.”
The Oilmen will look to make their way back into the win column when they take on the Bloomington Bobcats at 1 p.m. at O’Neil Park on Saturday afternoon. The final game of the road trip can be seen on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network via Facebook Live with Brandon Vickrey and Dan Hardy on the call.