06/29/2018 10:52 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 28, 2018 – With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, a two-out line drive hit by Zaid Walker (Michigan State / Flossmoor, Ill.) was snared by Hounds shortstop Matt Collins, eliminating any chance of a comeback as the Oilmen fell to DuPage County 5-2.
In one of the few games this season that was close throughout, neither team pulling away, the Hounds can thank both Jesse Wainscott and Alex Luka for keeping Oilmen runs off of the board. The two combined to allow only two earned runs on eight hits in Thursday’s contest.
“Wainscott throws much harder than we’re used to,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “He beat us with straight up velocity. Luka worked really fast. Luckily, our guys caught onto that the second time through and barreled up a few that were just right at infielders.”
For the Oilmen, Anthony Robles’ (College of DuPage / Oak Lawn, Ill.) best outing of the season ticketed him with the loss on the bump as he gave up three earned runs on five hits over his five-inning start. Christian Howell (Trinity Christian / Aurora, Ill.) was responsible for the fourth and fifth DuPage County runs, surrendering both in his one and only inning of work in the ninth.
The middle innings, however, were controlled by Chad Patrick (Purdue Northwest / Hebron, Ind.) who continues to impress this summer. The right-hander threw three innings of one-hit, no-run baseball, striking out six of the nine men he retired.
“Patrick has been really good for us. The only thing that we’re having to be cautious with is his innings limit because he threw a lot of innings as a freshman at PNW. Having him in the middle of a game when you’re trying to build a lead or to get back into it is nice. He certainly gave us an opportunity to do that tonight,” Enright said.
Patrick’s relief efforts were all for naught as Oilmen bats were unable to create a big inning. With runners on base, Oilmen hitters were stymied by Hounds pitching early in the game and seemed to fall on strokes of bad luck late. Nick Figus (Illinois Wesleyan / Frankfort, Ill.) lined into a double play to end the eighth while hot shots by both Eric Yachinich (Minnesota Duluth / Ashland, Wis.) and Zaid Walker ended the opportunity for the Oilmen to push runs across in the ninth.
“You try to look at the at-bats that guys have instead of how many runs and hits you have. You want to look at how many good swings guys took in fastball counts and how many balls they hit hard. Later was much better than earlier which is always a good sign that when you’re fighting for a game, during your third and forth at-bat, you’re a hard out,” Enright said.
Jake Plastiak (Wichita State / Tinley Park, Ill.) had the best night at the plate on Thursday, recording three hits, including two doubles, and an RBI.
The Oilmen will try to snap the two-game skid against the Crestwood Panthers on Friday night at Oil City Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. The game will be airing on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network with Sam Michel and Dan Harty on the call.