07/14/2013 9:24 PM -
Lexington, Ill. – July 13, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen received two dazzling pitching performances on their way to a double header split with the Lexington Snipes on Sunday afternoon at High Desert Field. After losing the opener 1-0, the Oilmen came away with a 5-2 victory in game two to garner the split.
The Oilmen came up on the losing end of a pitchers’ duel in the first game. Michael Steensen worked a six-inning complete game, but was the hard-luck losing pitcher. The only run he yielded came on a solo home run to Eric Phillis to lead off the second.
“I just tried to go out there and work quickly and throw strikes,” Steensen said. “Unfortunately, I left one up to [Phillis] and he took advantage of a short porch.”
Steensen utilized a sharp slider to befuddle Lexington hitters, but he was outdueled by Jacob Hendren, who went seven shutout innings and racked up 11 strikeouts.
Joe Cochran took the mound for NWI in the second game and finished what he started; allowing just two runs on five hits in a complete-game 5-2 win. The Oilmen jumped on the board with two first-inning runs as Jack Czeszewski and Tyler Baar notched RBIs. Rashawn Tillman lifted a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Craig Austgen stroked a run-scoring single in the fifth to widen the gap.
The Snipes scored twice in the sixth to trim the lead to two, but the Oilmen picked up an insurance tally in the top of the seventh and held on for the victory. Northwest Indiana, which is in the midst of a stretch of 21 games in 18 days to conclude the regular season, received much needed complete games from Steensen and Cochran.
“Every time you go out there, you try to go as deep as you can,” Cochran said. “At the same time, you’re not pacing yourself. You give it all you can every single pitch and when you run out of gas, somebody from the bullpen comes in and picks it up.”
The Oilmen continue their busy stretch on Monday night with a trip to Flossmoor, Ill. to lock horns with the Southland Vikings at 7 p.m. The Oilmen return home to play the Vikings on Tuesday night.