06/06/2018 9:52 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 6, 2018 – The losing streak ended for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium.
Two booming home runs and a nine-run eighth inning contributed to the Oilmen getting back on track, but the hero of the night came from an unlikely source in a 13-4 victory over the Crestwood Panthers.
Norman Standish (South Suburban / Highland, Ind.) delivered three shutout innings of relief and struck out four while yielding just one hit and no walks, earning the victory to improve to 1-1. The sharp relief outing was much needed for an Oilmen (2-5) bullpen that had struggled of late. Standish threw just 35 pitches to get through three innings.
“He’s the reason we won, in my opinion,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “As an offense, you can’t feel any better about what he did. He goes out there and throws nine pitches in his first inning and gets very weak contact. He worked quick, efficient innings and gave our team the feeling that we were going to win. Norman Standish is the MVP of the game tonight. Our bullpen hadn’t done anything like that this season.”
Nate Montgomery (Tusculum / Geneva, Ill.) drilled a towering home run over the brick wall in left to start the game’s scoring in the second inning. That marked the first home run by an Oilmen player this season. Crestwood tied the game with two tallies in the third, but Cory Krolikowski (Minnesota Duluth / Bartlett, Ill.) singled, stole second and scored on a C.J. Deshazer (Heartland / Schaumburg, Ill.) base hit in the fourth.
Crestwood (0-5) wrestled the lead away from the Oilmen by scoring twice in the sixth, but Deshazer stroked his second RBI single of the day in the bottom of the inning to level the score at four.
It remained 4-4 until a nine-run ninth inning for the Oilmen, mostly against Crestwood pitcher Nick Green, who was hit with the defeat. The highlight of the big inning was a grand slam by Tyler Kenjic (Southland / Hobart, Ind.), the second home run of the night for a team that didn’t have any home runs and just eight extra-base hits in their first six games.
“The home runs are a byproduct of what we’ve been working on,” Enright said. “It’s a little bit against the grain for most college teams, but we’ve been practicing doing damage on pitches to your pull side that you can hit for extra bases. We want guys to be prepared for that with their timing and approach. We did a little bit of that the last two days in BP. Guys are starting to shift from putting balls in play, to realizing they can look for something to drive with no strikes.”
Max Franklin (Heartland / Chicago Heights, Ill.) allowed four runs on five hits in six innings, striking out five and walking six. He received no decision. The nimble base running of the Panthers contributed to much of their offense.
“It’s important to be able to stop teams from running,” Enright said. “I like what Crestwood did. They’re going to steal until we prove they can’t steal. They stole second base a whole bunch. We’ve got to do a better job of varying our timing for our pitches and putting throws on the bag. It doesn’t have to get there extremely quickly in many cases, but it has to be on the bag. That’s of extreme importance in this league because teams that take the extra 90 feet are the teams that score the most runs.”
Montgomery led the way for the Oilmen with three hits, while Kenjic, Krolikowski and Deshazer contributed two apiece.
After snapping the team’s longest losing streak in six years at five, the Oilmen will look to make it back-to-back victories as they host the Southland Vikings on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. Tickets are available on NWIOilmen.com.