07/23/2019 11:16 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 23, 2019 – In a year where parity has reigned supreme in the Midwest Collegiate League, the Bloomington Bobcats were due for a win over the Northwest Indiana Oilmen.
That victory came on Tuesday night at Oil City Stadium, as the hosts ran out of luck in a season series that had seen the Oilmen rally late for several miraculous victories. The Oilmen scored three times in the third to take a brief 3-2 lead, but Bloomington scored four unanswered to account for a 6-3 win.
“Our approach at the plate wasn’t terrible, but we didn’t get the timely hit,” Oilmen manager Kevin Tyrrell said. “We had baserunners throughout the game, and our lucky streak against that team seemed to run out. Hopefully we’re not out of luck against them because we may see them in the playoffs, but that’s a good team and we had been our luckiest against them, so it was about time we didn’t have karma on our side.”
The victory allowed the Bobcats to finish 3-6 in the season series with the Oilmen, as this marked the final regular season meeting between the two teams. The Bobcats (19-13) moved into a virtual tie with the Southland Vikings atop the league with Tuesday’s win, while the Oilmen (16-14) are in third and two games off the pace. If the playoffs started today, perennial MCL power DuPage County (15-15) would not qualify.
“The parity in the league is awesome this year,” Tyrrell said. “That’s the way it should be. It’s by design, and that’s what we’ve been trying to create for a long time. That is good for the league and everybody is very competitive. Anybody can win on any given night, that’s the best part about baseball.”
Michael Bolton (Purdue / Calumet City, Ill.) had two hits, walked and scored a run as part of the three-run third for the Oilmen. Jackson Dvorak (University of Missouri St. Louis / New Lenox, Ill.) looped a single that drove home the go-ahead run to cap the prosperous frame.
The Bobcats started the day with back-to-back extra-base knocks and went on to score twice in the first. The team tied it at three in the fourth, regained the lead with two in the fifth and tacked on one in the sixth. There was no scoring on either side the rest of the night, as the Oilmen had several chances but came up empty, including a bases loaded opportunity in the bottom of the ninth.
Connor Oliver (Wichita State / Oak Forest, Ill.) took the defeat for the Oilmen, allowing five runs on eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.
“Connor wasn’t efficient tonight,” Tyrrell said. “He fell behind and we’re trying to preach that if we attack the zone and make them swing the bats, we will score more runs than the opponent. If we give them free bases, that’s something we can’t defend. We made a couple errors and those didn’t cost us because Connor did a good job pitching out of those situations, but we were in bad spots because of the bases on balls.”
Every game is important in the MCL standings at this juncture, and Wednesday is no exception as the Joliet Generals come to town for a 7:10 p.m. start at Oil City Stadium. For those who can’t attend, Brandon Vickrey and Sam Oppenheim will have the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.