The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Oilmen Come Up Short In Elkhart

06/30/2024 1:32 PM -

The Northwest Indiana Oilmen stayed in it until the end, but the Elkhart County Miracle pulled away late in a 4-3 victory on Saturday. The game was tied at three in the bottom of the seventh when Bryce Lesher hit a solo home run to right field for the Miracle, his second of the game.

A single by Jake Pauley put Northwest Indiana Oilmen on the board in the top of the second, scoring 2-runs.

Lesher hit a 2-run jack to center field, which helped Elkhart County Miracle tie the game at three in the bottom of the fifth.

Cristopher Gonzalez earned the win for the Elkhart County Miracle. The righty surrendered five hits and three runs (two earned) over eight innings, striking out 11 and walking one. Quinn Flanagan took the loss for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. He went six and two-thirds innings, surrendering four runs on 13 hits, striking out four and walking none. Neraldo Catalina earned the save for the Miracle.

Jake Pauley, the number nine hitter for Northwest Indiana Oilmen, led the way with two runs batted in. The outfielder went 1-for-3 on the day. Jalen House, Noah Caceres, Pauley, Dasaan Lee, and James Denten each collected one hit for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. The Northwest Indiana Oilmen turned one double play in the game. 

The Elkhart County Miracle tallied 13 hits in the game. Nathaniel Garcia and Bryce Lesher each collected three hits for Elkhart County Miracle. Lesher went 3-for-4 at the plate as the second baseman led the team with three runs batted in. Gabriel Chirinos, Juan Pinuelus, and Wilson Valera each collected multiple hits for the Elkhart County Miracle.

The White Castle Player of the Game was awarded to Jake Pauley after his timely hitting. Pauley went 1-3 with 2 RBI early in the game. The Oilmen struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, but Pauley was able to capitalize and keep the pressure on until the very end of the game.

Tyler Zunkel was available after the game. He reflected on how missed opportunities with runners in scoring position made all the difference today. "I think we saw some tough arms, guys that were approaching the 90s, and when it was time for us to do a job with guys on 3rd and less than 2 out, we couldn't get it done. Being able to focus on what we can control, putting the ball in play with a guy at third base is going to be able to help change the outcome". Zunkel also came out and pitched for the Oilmen. He threw 1.1 innings of hitless ball with 2 strikeouts. When asked why Zunkel called his own number, he shared plainly that it was out of necessity. "We didn't have anyone after Quinn, so I felt like I should go in there and I know I can throw some strikes, so I went out and figured it out. I hadn't pitched in a long time, but I felt good". Zunkel also shared what he will want to take away from the loss today, knowing he will be back in Elkart on Monday and Wednesday this week. "I told the boys that this team is really good competition, and evveryone should want to show up. It's a little bit of a drive for us and the guys that are showing up are getting better, but this Elkhart team is talented and they are helping to make us better".

Next up for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen is a matchup at Griffith vs the Generals on Sunday. The game has a 4pm start and the Oilmen will try to get back into the win column.