06/12/2014 9:57 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 12, 2014 – During a stretch of four consecutive off days caused by back-to-back rainouts, Oilmen outfielder and Dyer native Jason Gasser was itching to get back on the field for Thursday’s game against Southland.
The well-rested Gasser took full advantage of his team’s return to the diamond, driving in four runs in a banner day at the plate to lift the Oilmen over the Vikings 5-4.
Gasser cracked a run-scoring double in the first inning to put the Oilmen on the board. He rapped another RBI double in the third inning to make it 2-0 in favor of the Oilmen before the Vikings rallied for four unanswered runs against starting pitcher Jimmy McNamara.
In the bottom of the fourth, Gasser tattooed one high off the fence in right field for a two-run, game-tying triple. A moment later, Gasser crossed the dish on Munster grad Craig Dedelow's sacrifice fly to give the Oilmen a 5-4 lead that they would not relinquish.
“The off days really helped after playing four days in a row,” Gasser said. “I think it was much needed; it gave me a lot of rest.”
Gasser did not feel as if he was hitting the ball well during batting practice, but once he stepped in against Southland ace Brandon White, everything clicked.
“I feel like if I don’t have a good day in batting practice, it probably means I’m going to have a good day at the plate,” Gasser said. “The coaches do a good job of telling me what I do wrong. I try to correct it during the game with in-game adjustments. It worked today.”
Gasser finished the game 3-for-4 with four runs batted in, while Nick Vogelmeier contributed two hits and made two stellar defensive plays at shortstop.
McNamara, a Lake Central graduate, picked up the win, limiting the Vikings to four runs over six innings. Garrett Sherrell tossed two innings of scoreless relief; working out of a jam in the eighth after Southland had runners at second and third with one away.
White lasted only 4 1/3 innings and yielded five runs to take the loss.
“He was a little predictable tonight,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “He was struggling with his control a little bit and his breaking ball was okay at times, but he didn’t really have a lot of confidence in it. We knew he was going to throw a lot of fastballs and he was a little up in the zone with it.”
Bishop Noll graduate Matt Pobereyko came on to nail down his fourth save of the season and the ninth of his career with the Oilmen.
Dedelow went 0-for-2 with a base on balls, sacrifice fly and RBI in his Oilmen debut. He joined the team late after finishing up his season at Indiana University.
“We think he’ll make a great difference,” Huisman said. “It’s tough to tell, but he’s at a great program at Indiana and he did some good things over there for them. Looking at him play for the first time, I think he’s going to be good for us.”
Northwest Indiana improves to 5-4, 4-3 in Midwest Collegiate League play. The Vikings drop to 3-4 with the defeat. The Oilmen host the Joliet Admirals on Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Oil City Stadium.
Friday is Zombie Apocalypse Night at Oil City Stadium with all fans encouraged to join a salute to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It is also a BP Family Friday with all children 12 and under receiving free admission.