06/06/2013 10:27 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 6, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen (2-2, 1-1 MCL) survived a ninth inning scare to squeak out a 7-6 triumph over the Southland Vikings (2-1) in a back-and-forth Midwest Collegiate League affair at Oil City Stadium.
Southland plated a ninth inning run when Hammond Clark alumni Micah Rooke was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The bags remained full of Vikings as Valparaiso University pitcher Scott Jerge wiggled out of the jam by convincing John Livingston to bounce out to end the game.
Livingston, a former Oilman, committed two errors in the in the eighth as the Oilmen pushed across three run without the benefit of a hit.
“Whenever you’re down two strikes late in the count and you’re not swinging the bats that well, some of these guys are still trying to find their swings early in the summer, you put it in play and anything can happen,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said.
Jimmy McNamara, who pitched Lake Central to the 2012 baseball state championship, made his first start as an Oilman. The Central Michigan hurler kept his team in the game by limiting Southland to three runs on six hits in six innings.
“I saw a good pace from him; he threw strikes,” Huisman said. “He would like to get the first hitter of an inning out a little more, but for a first outing I’m pleased, and I can see that he’s going to do pretty well for us.”
McNamara did not factor into the pitching decision, while Jerge was the winning pitcher.
Southland starter Aaron Hauge worked five innings of one-run, two-hit baseball before exiting. The Oilmen bats came to life against the Vikings’ bullpen, scoring once in the sixth and twice in the seventh before the game-deciding eighth inning rally. Wil Polley, who was on the mound for the eighth, was the losing pitcher.
Livingston, a Highland native, went 1-for-4 with a double in his return to Oil City Stadium. Livingston is the cousin of Oilmen first baseman Kenny Mahala. Another ex-Oilman, River Forest grad Tyler Hanson, went hitless in four tries.
“They’re great guys,” Huisman said of Hanson and Livingston. “We really had a good summer last year and everybody got along great. Those two guys were a big reason why.”
The Oilmen round out the opening homestand on Friday against Chicago at 7:10 p.m.