The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Austgen's Bat Comes to Life as Oilmen Down Lakers

06/24/2013 7:52 PM -

Michigan City, Ind. – June 24, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen made quick work of the Michigan City Lakers on Monday night in a non-league game that was called in the fifth inning due to weather conditions.  The Oilmen sent 10 men to the plate in a five-run first inning on their way to a 9-1 rout at the Diamond Cove in Michigan City. 

Andrean graduate Kenny Mahala, Nick Bartolone and Lowell product Craig Austgen all drove in runs in the rally, which was aided by a Laker error.  Austgen finished the game 3-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in, his best performance of the season.  Austgen, who missed the first half of June with an injury, was hitting .067 in five games entering Monday night before busting out of the slump with the three hit day. 

Bartolone’s second hit of the contest drove in two runs in the third to boost the Oilmen lead to seven, before NWI added one more in that frame on an Austgen single. 

Michigan City’s only tally came in the fourth, when Hanover Central alum Andy Wellwerts walked four Lakers to force in a run.  Outside of that frame, Wellwerts was stellar, allowing no additional walks and just one hit over four innings.

The Oilmen picked up an insurance tally in the top of the fifth when Austgen doubled to start the inning and eventually came around to score.  The game was called with the Lakers still batting in the bottom of the fifth with one out and two runners on base.

Purdue North Central pitcher Dan Snyder, who went 6-0 as the ace of the Panthers staff this season, took the loss for the Lakers. 

The Lakers are hoping to join the Midwest Collegiate League and build a new stadium for the 2014 season.  Michigan City manager T.J. Jahnz said he will meet with the President of Tourism on Friday to determine whether or not a new ballpark will be constructed for next season. 

The Oilmen now hold a 3-1 series lead over the Lakers as the two teams will hook up three additional times, July 3 in Michigan City and July 7 and 24 at Oil City Stadium. 

NWI now holds a 13-4 overall record.  The Oilmen enjoy an off day on Tuesday before starting a six game homestand on Wednesday night against Rockford.  That Oil City stretch culminates with a special game against the U.S. Military All-Stars on Monday, July 1.