08/07/2020 9:31 AM
MCL Minutemen (10-18)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (20-9)
Aug. 7, 2020 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind. • Oil City Stadium
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
The cardiac kids were at it again on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium. The Northwest Indiana Oilmen entered the bottom of the 10th chasing by a run, but Nick Anderson lifted a two-run, walk-off double to the gap in right center, creating a celebration scene and helping the Oilmen take over sole possession of first place in the Midwest Collegiate League standings. They’ll look to stay hot on Friday as the MCL Minutemen come to town for a $2 Miller Lite Pint Night.
Pitching Matchup – Northwest Indiana RHP Jack Guzek (Iowa / Manhattan, Ill.) vs. Minutemen RHP Matthew Lelito (Kankakee CC / Merrillville, Ind.)
- The Oilmen are 7-1 against the MCL Minutemen this season and have a chance to continue their dominance of the season series as the two teams meet on both Friday and Saturday at Oil City Stadium.
- Anderson delivered his second walk-off hit of the year on Thursday as the Oilmen walked off with a victory for the fourth time this season. It was the second straight day the Oilmen came from behind in their last at-bat, doing so in the top of the ninth on Wednesday at Joliet thanks to a three-run homer by Conner Tomasic.
- The Oilmen own a one-game lead over DuPage County for the top spot in the MCL standings and a 3 ½ game edge over Crestwood, important as the Oilmen attempt to sustain a position in the top two in order to clinch a championship series berth.
- After recording their 20th win of the season on Thursday, the Oilmen hold a .690 winning percentage. NWI has an outside chance at the team record for winning percentage of .720 (34-16) established in 2017.
- Seven of the last eight Oilmen games have been decided by two runs or fewer.
- After starting the season with 19 scoreless innings over his first four outings, right hander Jack Guzek has been roughed up over his last two starts to the tune of 16 runs (15 earned) on 19 hits in 7 1/3 innings. He received no decision in a wild game against the Minutemen last Saturday, as the Oilmen came from down 8-1 to prevail 17-11 in a game shortened to seven innings due to rain.
- Minutemen starter Matthew Lelito will oppose the Oilmen for the first time this season as he makes his fifth start and sixth appearance. He holds a 7.46 ERA and has walked 17 while striking out 22 over 25 1/3 innings. Lelito pitched 4 1/3 innings at Southland on July 28, allowing nine runs on nine hits and five walks in his most recent outing.
- 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.