07/22/2022 8:18 AM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 21, 2022 – The offense turned it around, but the defense took a turn in the wrong direction on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium.
Just 24 hours after being shut out on four hits against the Chicago American Giants, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen scored eight runs on 11 hits against the league’s best pitching staff. However, the first-place Lake County Corn Dogs prevailed 11-8 with help from six errors by the Oilmen defense.
“You can’t win,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “You just can’t win with six errors. It’s not going to happen. If we eliminate just the errors at one position, we probably win that game. With as good as the Corn Dogs are and as difficult as it is to keep them from scoring when they only have three outs, it’s impossible to keep them from scoring when you have four or five in an innings.”
A trio of Oilmen had multi-hit games as David Marshall (College of DuPage / Downers Grove, Ill.), Jack Zebig (Maryville / Plainfield, Ill.) and Dom Curcio (Aurora / Plainfield, Ill.) had two hits apiece. The Oilmen struck first on a run-scoring double by Curcio in the second, part of a two-run inning. The Corn Dogs owned a 3-2 lead going to the bottom of the fifth, when Chris Baker (Trinity Christian / South Holland, Ill.) tripled and scored and Kyle Czarnecki (Kankakee CC / Minooka, Ill.) added an RBI single to put the Oilmen in front 4-3.
“In the situation that we’re in standings wise and trying to beat the Corn Dogs as many times as we can and be as competitive as we can with them, the lineup that we put out was one of the better ones that we have offensively,” Enright said. “The guys that we really rely on were all out there at the same time.”
The Corn Dogs (26-9) just kept scoring as they scored in each of the final five innings and posted exactly two runs in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. Trailing 9-4, the Oilmen scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 9-8, but the Corn Dogs got two back in the top of the ninth to stretch the lead back to three. All of the eighth-inning runs came with two outs as Marshall (two-run single) and Zebig (two-run double) delivered clutch hits.
The Oilmen (19-17) will host the surging Joliet Generals on Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Oil City Stadium. The Generals, who have won four straight, are just ½ game behind the Oilmen for third place in the Northern League standings and can take over third with a win on Friday. It’s Police and Fire Appreciation Night sponsored by bp Whiting with tickets available now on NWIOilmen.com.