06/13/2013 11:01 PM -
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen picked up their second straight win over the Rockford Foresters on Thursday night behind a stellar pitching performance from Lake Central graduate Jimmy McNamara.
The Oilmen pounded out 24 runs on 35 hits in the two games against the Foresters.
“These guys are out here and they all have goals that they’re trying to reach, personal goals and team goals, so whether you’re up 10 or it’s a tied ballgame, these guys are going to go out there and compete,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said.
McNamara worked 6.2 innings, yielding just two runs on four hits to lower his earned run average to 0.71 through his first two starts.
“He got better as the game went on,” Huisman said. “In the beginning he was kind of having a problem controlling the running game, but then he settled down and started making some quality pitches down in the zone and pitched all the way into the seventh inning.”
Domenic Biagini cracked a solo homer against McNamara to lead off the fourth inning, but the Central Michigan left-hander did not allow another hit until a Kurt Hoesktra single in the seventh.
“He had a momentary lapse there, threw a pitch up in the zone and he got hurt,” Huisman said of the Biagini homer. “The ball was carrying out to right field and that guy got a good piece of wood on it.”
After starting the season hitless in his first seven games, Tyler Baar has collected seven hits and six RBIs over the last two games. He and Leiff Clarkson led the Oilmen on Thursday with three hits each.
The Foresters took an early lead with a first inning run, but Northwest Indiana quickly tied it in the bottom of the frame when Clarkson singled home Rashawn Tillman. The Oilmen took the lead with three runs in the third inning before ballooning the edge with two more in the fourth and sealing the deal with four runs in the sixth and two in the eighth.
Munster grad and current Valparaiso University pitcher Scott Jerge retired four of the five hitters he faced in relief of McNamara before Bishop Noll alumni Matt Pobereyko worked a scoreless ninth.
NWI improves to 6-3 overall, 5-2 in Midwest Collegiate League action and stays within 0.5 games of Lexington and DuPage for the league lead. Rockford has dropped six of its first seven games this season.
The Oilmen continue a string of four straight home games when they host Chicago on Friday night at 7:10. The homestand concludes with a special Father’s Day game on Sunday night against Michigan City.