The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Oilmen Attempt to Extend Winning Streak to Six on Sunday

08/02/2020 8:44 AM -

Crestwood Panthers (12-11)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (18-7)

Aug. 2, 2020 • 4:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)

Angelo Cantelo became the first player in Northwest Indiana Oilmen history to hit for the cycle on Saturday night, driving in six in a 17-11 victory over the MCL Minutemen. The Oilmen overcame a seven-run deficit to beat the Minutemen in a rain-shortened, seven-inning affair. The first-place Oilmen will look to keep their winning ways going on Sunday as the Crestwood Panthers come to town to round out the homestand.

Pitching Matchup – Northwest Indiana RHP Joe Rotkis (Morehead State / Granger, Ind.) vs. Crestwood LHP Max Engstrom (Indiana Wesleyan / Hickory Hills, Ill.)

Game Notes

  • The Oilmen hold the best record through 25 games in franchise history, shattering the previous mark of 17-8 that was established in 2013 with Saturday’s win.
  • The team owns a season-long five-game winning streak, the team’s longest such streak since rapping off seven in a row combined between the regular season and postseason to close out the Adam Enright Era in 2018.
  • The Oilmen exploded for a season-high 17 runs on Saturday night, the team’s highest output since beating Joliet 18-8 on July 31, 2019.
  • Cantelo’s six-RBI performance against the Minutemen helped him vault into the league lead in RBIs with 22, surpassing Minutemen infielder Ryan Howe (21). Three Oilmen are involved in a four-way tie for third in the MCL in RBIs as Kendal Ewell, Michael Machnic and Nick Anderson join Southland’s Justin Rios with 18 apiece. Four of the six MCL players with 18 or more RBIs are members of the Oilmen.
  • The Oilmen have scored 193 runs this season, the most in the MCL. The Hounds are second at 179. The Oilmen also lead the league in hitting at .279 and team ERA at 3.75.
  • Joe Rotkis is slated to make his sixth appearance and fourth start on Sunday. He worked six innings while scattering six hits and allowing three runs (one earned) on Tuesday at Joliet. Rotkis has faced the Panthers twice this season, allowing three earned runs over 10 innings. He owns a 1.73 ERA with four walks against 28 strikeouts in 26 innings this summer.
  • Max Engstrom is 1-1 with a 4.42 ERA and 12 strikeouts against six walks over his four games, three starts. The lefty has twice pitched against the Oilmen, allowing three total runs over 8 1/3 innings.
  • The Oilmen and Panthers have split the first four meetings of this year’s season series. The Oilmen hold a 25-5 all-time record against Crestwood.
  • The Panthers enter the day just ½ game behind Southland for third place in the MCL standings. 

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.