06/24/2018 9:46 AM
Southland Vikings (11-4)
at NWI Oilmen (11-8)
June 24, 2018 • 4 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Max Franklin (Heartland / Chicago Heights, Ill.) vs. Southland LHP Justin Rios (North Central College
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen enter Sunday afternoon’s game at Oil City Stadium as winners of their last seven, a streak that has propelled the team from four games under .500 to three over. On Sunday, they’ll attempt to set a new franchise record for longest winning streak as they seek their eighth straight against Southland. The current winning streak is tied for the longest in franchise history. The Oilmen won seven straight on two occasions last year (one streak included three exhibitions against the Serbian Baseball Team), once in 2016 (July 6-15) and before that had set the franchise record with seven straight from June 7-20, 2014. However, in order to extend one streak the Oilmen will have to snap another, as they’ve lost four in a row to Southland dating back to last year. The Vikings are the one team in the league that the Oilmen have not defeated this season
Inside the Oilmen
Three Oilmen had multi-hit games including newcomer Zaid Walker, who made his NWI debut, as Northwest Indiana topped Crestwood 8-2 on Saturday to extend the winning streak to seven. Jake Perreira launched his first home run of the season and the third of his Oilmen career. Both of his previous home runs came in a single game as Perreira (July 6, 2016 at Lakers), Bill Miller and Zack Jones are the only players in Oilmen history with multi-homer games. As a team, the Oilmen are up to 11 home runs in the first 19 games of the season. The Oilmen have already hit more home runs than they did in any of the team’s first three seasons – 2012, 2013 and 2014. Nate Montgomery has 17 RBIs, tied for second in the league with DuPage County’s Kennedy Philips and behind only Dane Toppel (20), also a member of the Hounds. Max Franklin will get the Sunday start as he enters with a 1-1 record and 5.06 ERA. He has walked 12 and struck out 15 in 16 innings of work.
Inside the Vikings
Southland has three players hitting over .400 – Victor Perez (.438), Will Smithey (.412) and Andy Lopez (.409). Where the Vikings have really thrived is on the mound, as they own a 3.65 ERA that leads the league. The second-best team ERA in the MCL is 4.38. First-year manager Dave Letourneau has the defending champions in second place in the MCL standings, nipping at the heels of the first-place Hounds, who own a one-game lead. The Oilmen are two games behind Southland for second and can whittle to within a game with a victory on Sunday. The Vikings had a five-game winning streak snapped with a 9-6 loss to DuPage County on Saturday. LHP Justin Rios gets the ball opposite the Oilmen. He has not allowed an earned run in 11 innings of work this season and was named the MCL Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete-game shutout to beat DuPage County last week.
About the Matchup
With its three wins over the Oilmen this season, Southland has taken a 31-30 lead in the all-time series. The Oilmen have dropped four straight to the Vikings. The two teams were scheduled to go at it this past week at Hap Bruno Field, but the game was postponed as heavy rain hit Chicago Heights during batting practice.
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