06/14/2021 9:30 PM -
Hammond, Ind. – June 14, 2021 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen legacy of Jack Guzek (Iowa / Manhattan, Ill.) continued to grow on Monday night.
The right-handed ace turned in five shutout innings of five-hit ball, striking out 10 and walking none to help the Oilmen best host Southland 7-2 at Dowling Park. His outing came as a breath of fresh air for manager TJ Marik, who had too often witnessed his pitching staff issue numerous walks in recent games.
“Everything was working for Jack,” Marik said. “He did exactly what a starter is supposed to do. He didn’t have any walks but 10 punchouts. It’s hard to say I expect that out of Jack Guzek, because it’s hard to expect what he did today out of anyone, but Jack throwing strikes and controlling the game is something we expect from him each outing.”
The 10-punchout performance allowed Guzek to jump to second on the Oilmen career strikeouts list. He is up to 96 career strikeouts over three Oilmen seasons, usurping Max Franklin (95) for second in franchise history. The Oilmen career strikeout recordholder is Christian Howell with 141. Guzek is four strikeouts away from becoming the second Oilman to reach the century mark.
After the third double-figure strikeout output of his Oilmen career, Guzek has 96 strikeouts against just 13 walks in his NWI tenure including 16 Ks and no bases on balls this season.
Guzek garnered the win to boost his record to 2-0 and his career mark to 7-2, while lefty Noah Mathias (Roosevelt / LaPorte, Ind.) earned his first save by virtue of the three-inning save rule, allowing two runs (one earned) over four frames while striking out four and walking one. The Vikings (4-7) scored twice in the ninth to dodge the shutout.
The performance on the mound stood out the most, but the recipe for an Oilmen victory didn’t end there on Monday. A six-run fourth inning propelled the offense as part of an 11-hit output. The Oilmen have three innings of five runs or more in their last two games.
“We were able to move past a few tough innings of leaving guys stranded early in the game,” Marik said. “We had a lot of confidence in the box, and that was huge for us.”
Jacob Ferry (Morehead State / Aurora, Ill.) collected four hits and stole three bases. He has six hits over his last two games.
“Jacob has been unbelievable the past two days,” Marik said. “He’s putting a lot of balls in play, and he’s walked more than he has struck out this season. He controls his at-bats really well. You can tell when he’s in the box, he’s in charge. He has a lot of confidence, and it’s showing right now with how he’s been playing, especially the past two days.”
Aaron Cook (Roosevelt / Hammond, Ind.) drove in three and had two hits, while Mike Carey (John A. Logan / Tinley Park, Ill.) also enjoyed a two-hit effort, his second straight. The Oilmen are now 35-of-37 on stolen-base attempts this season (.946) and in nine games they’re already over half way to their 35-game total of 52 stolen bases from last season.
The Oilmen will visit the Crestwood Panthers on Tuesday at 5:05 p.m. at Riverside Park in Hammond. The game will be broadcast on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network via Facebook Live with Brandon Vickrey, Leo Staudacher and Jon Zaghloul on the call.