06/30/2018 12:53 PM
Southland Vikings (14-6)
at NWI Oilmen (13-10)
June 30, 2018 • 6:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Alex Voss (Butler / South Bend, Ind.) vs. Southland RHP John Hendry (University of Indianapolis / Park Ridge, Ill.)
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will take the field for Elvis Night at Oil City Stadium as they look to make it back-to-back wins in an important game against the second-place Southland Vikings. The Oilmen will attempt to ride the momentum of a dramatic win on Friday night that saw Nate Montgomery hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning to propel the team past Crestwood 8-6. Montgomery’s home run was his league-leading fifth of the season, an Oilmen record for home runs before July 1. He’s only two long-balls away from matching Tyler Sroczynski’s all-time single-season record of seven set in 2016. Montgomery is up to 23 RBIs, second in the league behind DuPage County’s Dane Toppel (25). He’ll have a shot at one of the longest-standing Oilmen records, the single-season RBI mark of 37 established by Nick Bartolone in 2013. As a team, the Oilmen are up to 12 home runs, already third in single-season franchise history.
Inside the Oilmen
In addition to Montgomery, one of the key bats of late for the Oilmen has been Zaid Walker, who has given the team a boost by going 7-for-17 (.412) over his first four games. All seven hits have been singles. Jake Plastiak has had three straight multi-hit games, going a combined 8-for-14 over his last three appearances to boost his average to .319. Cory Krolikowski has swung the bat well of late, as he saw a seven-game hitting streak end on Thursday against the Hounds. The Oilmen will turn to Alex Voss on the mound on Friday, a two-way player who is sets to begin his freshman year at Butler. Voss has worked 5 2/3 innings on the mound this season and yielded only one earned run. He pitched a scoreless inning of relief against the Vikings on June 24. Saturday will mark his first start of the season. Voss has also contributed offensively, as he’s hitting .312 in seven games.
Inside the Vikings
For the fourth time this season, the Vikings will send John Hendry to the mound opposite the Oilmen. Hendry is set to make his fifth start, with four of them coming against NWI. He is 2-1 with both wins coming over the Oilmen – the loss was his most recent outing, when he allowed six earned runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings on June 23 against the DuPage County Hounds. Hendry’s most recent game against the Oilmen was a complete-game shutout on June 13 at Hap Bruno Field, but his last start at Oil City Stadium wasn’t as favorable, when he gave up 10 runs (nine earned) on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. Hendry has a 5.63 ERA for the season and has issued just four walks in 24 innings. After a 3-2 slip up against Crestwood on Wednesday that sent the Vikings to their third loss in four games, Southland has responded with back-to-back wins over Joliet and DuPage County. The Vikings defeated the first-place Hounds 6-3 on Friday. Southland has a team ERA of 3.78 that leads the MCL. DuPage County is second at 4.21.
About the Matchup
The all-time series is in an exact deadlock, with the two teams each owning 31 victories against the other. The Oilmen picked up their first win over Southland this season in the most recent meeting, beating the Vikings 9-3. Southland owns a 3-1 lead in the season series.
Click here to view full Oilmen game notes.