07/24/2013 10:10 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 24, 2013 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen and Michigan City Lakers closed out a seven-game non-league series on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium as the Lakers came away with a 4-2 victory. The Lakers won the opening game of the season series and the final game of the set, but Northwest Indiana took the other five meetings.
Class of 2013 Bishop Noll graduate Danny Pobereyko worked seven innings and allowed four runs, three of which came in his final inning of work on a home run by Washington Township alum Greg Fadell.
“It was big for Danny more than anything,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “It didn’t end the way he wanted to, I’m sure he wants that one pitch back, but he threw a great ballgame for us. You’ve got to score more runs than that in this game. That was just the story right there that we didn’t executive enough.”
Kenny Mahala, normally a position player, came on to pitch the final two innings. He allowed two hits and a walk in the top of the ninth but escaped the jam without surrendering a run.
“He did a good job for having not thrown that much,” Huisman said. “He threw strikes, his breaking stuff wasn’t quite as sharp as it would be if he were out there more consistently, but he did a great job for not having thrown that much.”
The Oilmen utilized the game, which did not count toward league standings, as a chance to rest most of the pitching staff with three regular season games remaining before the playoffs.
“You never want to come into a day and just give up a ballgame and that’s not what we did tonight, but we did accomplish what we wanted to and that’s just rest some guys that needed some rest, save our bullpen for the big league games and be well rested going into the playoffs,” Huisman said. “I think we’re going to be more rested than other teams.”
The Oilmen mounted several threats that came up empty, stranding runners at first and third in the first, leaving a man at third in the eighth and leaving two more base runners in the ninth. Several base running miscues plagued Northwest Indiana.
“Those things may have cost us the game today and those are things you can’t do,” Huisman said. “I am hoping it was just a mental lapse out there.”
Craig Austgen stayed red-hot, leading the Oilmen offense with two hits including a sixth-inning double. The Oilmen scored both of their runs in that frame to take a short-lived 2-1 lead before Fadell’s homer turned the game in Michigan City’s favor.
The Oilmen return to league play on Thursday night as they host the Rockford Foresters in the regular season home finale at 5:10. The DuPage County Hounds hold first place in the league, two games ahead of second-place NWI going into Thursday evening.