05/28/2014 10:15 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – May 28, 2014 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen roster features mostly new players with only five returnees from last season, but it was the familiar faces that got the job done on Opening Night.
Last season’s ace Jimmy McNamara (Lake Central) turned in five quality innings, returnee Danny Pobereyko (Bishop Noll) notched the win in relief and second-year closer Matt Pobereyko (Bishop Noll) nailed down the save as Northwest Indiana nipped Lexington 2-1.
“It’s what we expected, some good pitching out of some guys that I knew were going to come back and do the job,” manager Justin Huisman said. “I used a couple guys that the fans knew. I tried to use some of the guys that had a few innings (pitched in the college season) since it was a close game.”
Jason Gasser struck out in his first Midwest Collegiate League at-bat, but rebounded with singles in each of his two remaining plate appearances. Gasser’s sixth inning single drove in Jack Czeszewski and accounted for the difference in the game.
“My first at-bat I struggled at first, and then I made some adjustments,” Gasser said. “It was just as simple as seeing the ball and hitting the ball.”
In the early stages of the game, McNamara engaged in a pitcher’s duel with Lexington’s Brett Fanning. Neither team had a base runner until Zack Jones singled to lead off the third. Jones eventually motored around to score the first Oilmen run of the season on a Kevin DeFilippis single.
Chris Maranto stroked a single down the right-field line to lead off the fourth for the first Lexington base runner of the game. The Snipes’ only tally came on a solo home run by Adam Casson against McNamara in the fifth inning. McNamara received no decision, allowing one run on three hits and recording five strikeouts in five innings.
Danny Pobereyko tossed two innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. Crown Point product Nick Nauracy retired the side in order in the eighth inning in his Oilmen debut, setting up Matt Pobereyko to nail down the save.
“It’s a little different than the last couple years,” Huisman said. “The last few years we started out a little slow. Tonight was what we expected. We expected hitters to be a little slow. They’ve got to get their timing down, but they kind of figured it out as they went and got a couple big hits to put it away.”
Wednesday was also Paint the Game Pink Night as the Oilmen raised funds to support the fight against breast cancer. Players wore pink jerseys and used pink bats throughout the game.
“It was a pretty cool atmosphere,” Gasser said. “I love the stadium. It was a great first game and I’m looking forward to more experiences like this one.”