07/03/2013 9:41 PM -
Michigan City, Ind. – July 3, 2013 – After seven innings, the Oilmen offense had mustered up just three hits against Michigan City starting pitcher Kyle Marburger. It looked as if the two runs the Lakers had scored in the second inning would hold up in the non-league contest. However, in typical Oilman-fashion, the offense that looked sluggish for most of the evening posted three late runs to pull out a 3-2 win at Diamond Cove Field.
Infielder Leiff Clarkson provided the difference in the game when he stroked a two-out single in the eighth that allowed Lowell alum Craig Austgen and Anthony Bova to scamper home and tie the game.
“I didn’t really feel any pressure,” Clarkson said. “I just try to stay calm and stay focused. I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit and I came through.”
The Oilmen eventually secured the victory when Andrean High School graduate Kenny Mahala walked to lead off the ninth and came around to score on a Michigan City defensive miscue.
Oilmen manager Justin Huisman credited Marburger for taming the Oilmen offense through the first seven frames.
“He did a good job,” he said. “He was throwing the curveball for strikes and taking just enough off of it that he was keeping guys off balance. Luckily, we pulled this game out.”
Clarkson was the only Oilman to enjoy a multi-hit game, while LaPorte High School graduate Nick Latham also posted two hits for the Lakers.
After starting pitcher Scott Jerge exited in the second inning, the Oilmen bullpen gutted out seven and one-third innings of scoreless relief. Joe Cochran, Andrean grad Mike Hanchar, Gavit product Aveeno Nasiloski and Bishop Noll alum Matt Pobereyko combined for the spotless relief effort.
“I trust anyone out there whether it’s starting a ballgame or in the middle of a ballgame or finishing a ballgame,” Huisman said. “Good pitching is good pitching and as long as they’re mentally prepared to handle the roll for that particular day, they’re going to do well.”
The Oilmen improve to 15-6 overall and remain 10-5 in the Midwest Collegiate League. The Oilmen lace it up opposite the Chicago Zephyrs on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Waubonsee Community College.