The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


First Place Back Up for Grabs on Saturday

07/25/2020 8:59 AM -

DuPage County Hounds (11-5)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (12-5)

July 25, 2020 • 6:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)

First place in the Midwest Collegiate League is back up for grabs on Saturday night at Oil City Stadium. The Northwest Indiana Oilmen enter the evening with a slim ½ game lead over DuPage County for the top spot in the league, while third-place Southland sits just 1 ½ off the pace. The Oilmen will look to carry over the momentum from a solid victory on Friday night.

Pitching Matchup – Northwest Indiana LHP Connor Oliver (Wichita State / Wabash Valley / Oak Forest, Ill.) vs. DuPage County LHP Seth Masters (Illinois Springfield / Orland Park, Ill.)

Game Notes

  • Behind a dazzling pitching performance by Kyle Iwinski, the Oilmen topped the MCL Minutemen 7-4 on Friday night. Iwinski permitted one unearned run on two hits in seven innings while walking none and striking out 10.
  • Iwinski’s performance on Saturday matched a season high for strikeouts by an Oilmen pitcher that was set by Mike Madura, who fanned 10 Minutemen on Monday at Howie Minas Field.
  • Oilmen third baseman/pitcher Tommy Windt collected two more hits on Friday and has hit safely in every game he’s played in an Oilmen uniform. His hitting streak reached 11 games with Friday marking his second multi-hit showing in his last three contests.
  • Clay Thompson has been hit by a pitch an MCL-high eight times this season. There are only three players in Oilmen history to reach double-figures in that area – Nick Figus (12, 2018), Jake Perreira (10, 2018) and Noah Davis (team-record 17, 2017).
  • The Oilmen improved to 5-0 following defeats on Friday and still have not dropped back-to-back games this season. This marks the first time since 2013 that the Oilmen will get to at least the 19th game of the season without incurring back-to-back defeats. Both the 2012 and 2013 squads had back-to-back losses in the 18th and 19th games of the season for the first time in that year, so if the Oilmen win on either Saturday or Sunday, they’ll become the first team in franchise history to get to Game 20 without consecutive setbacks.
  • The 12-5 start marks the best record for the Oilmen through 17 games since the 2015 campaign.
  • The Oilmen have captured victories in both meetings with DuPage County so far this season, beating the Hounds 11-1 and 4-1. The two wins this season have allowed the Oilmen to grab a 39-38 lead in an all-time series that dates back to the first game in the history of both franchises in 2012.
  • Oilmen starter Connor Oliver will make his fifth appearance and second start. He owns a 1-0 record and has a 2.46 ERA while walking eight and striking out 13 over 11 innings. Oliver, who will oppose the Hounds for the first time this season, most recently worked an inning of scoreless relief against the Minutemen on Wednesday.
  • Seth Masters will get the ball from manager Ben Caple in the battle of left handers. He is set to make his fourth start and sixth appearance and previously went four one-hit innings of shutout ball at Oil City Stadium on July 16. Masters also logged two innings against Joliet on Wednesday. He has an 0.68 ERA and has walked four while striking out 11 in 13 1/3 innings. 

Season Notes

  • The 2020 Oilmen roster features representatives from numerous Division-I institutions including the following conferences: Big 10, American, Ohio Valley Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Horizon League, Mid-American Conference, Summit League and the ACC.
  • The Big Ten is well represented on this year’s roster, with players from five different conference members on the squad – Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa.
  • This marks the Oilmen’s first season under the direction of Chris Cunningham, who is the fourth manager in team history. Cunningham is no stranger to the MCL, as the former professional ballplayer in the Tampa Bay Rays organization managed the Southland Vikings from 2011-2014. In his final two seasons, the Vikings won back-to-back MCL championships.
  • Oilmen legend Matt Pobereyko is serving as the team’s pitching coach this season. He racked up an MCL-record 18 career saves in 2013 and 2014 including a single-season MCL record 13 in his final campaign with the Oilmen. Pobereyko is an active professional pitcher and has reached as high as Triple-A.
  • As usual, the Oilmen are loaded with local talent. Three Oilmen players graduated from Andrean High School, one from Highland, three from Griffith, one from Valparaiso, two from Munster and two from Lake Central. Expanding to Illinois high schools, two Oilmen competed at Brother Rice, one at Oak Forest, one at Marist, one at Marian Catholic, three at Homewood-Flossmoor, one at Carl Sandburg, one at St. Rita and one at St. Laurence.