06/20/2014 9:18 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 20, 2014 – One swing by Oilmen catcher Zack Jones made all the difference in Friday’s lightning-fast game against the Joliet Admirals.
Jones launched a towering double off the tall wall in left field to allow Jason Gasser to cross the plate in the fourth inning. This proved to be the only tally of a 1-0 Oilmen win over the Admirals.
“It was a hit-and-run, so I was looking for anything that I could get a bat on, to tell you the truth,” Jones said. “I saw a fastball up and in and I just turned and put some good wood on it. I was actually trying to get a groundball out of it, but it just kept flying.”
Jones initially started a jog to first as he expected the ball to leave the yard. When it hit high off the wall in left, he immediately turned on the jets. Jones has been putting in extra time in the batting cage in an effort to reverse his slow start offensively.
“I’ve been trying to get my hands in the correct position to see pitches,” he said. “My pitch recognition right now is a little shady, and I just wanted to see some pitches today. Thankfully I got a good pitch to swing at and I got the job done.”
The Oilmen established a new franchise record with their seventh straight victory, breaking the previous mark of six consecutive wins set in 2012. The seven-game winning streak also ties a Midwest Collegiate League record.
“The backbone of all of our success over the last three years has always been the pitching,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “In games like tonight where you win 1-0, you’ve got to have good pitching and you’ve got to make the plays. Over this stretch, we’ve done that. We have hit the ball better. We’re not where we want to be yet offensively, but our pitchers have picked us up.”
Cameron Linck (3-0) hurled six shutout innings and scattered three hits to earn the victory. Linck has now started all three matchups between the Oilmen and Admirals this season. Huisman was not concerned about the familiarity benefiting the opposing hitters.
“I played pro ball for a long time and you always run into teams a lot,” Huisman said. “Good pitching is always going to get good hitters out, no matter how many times you face them.”
Matt Pobereyko nailed down his seventh save of the season. Alec Ornelas, who entered the game in the sixth inning, went 2-for-2.
The Admirals were playing in their second game of the day in two separate road locations after falling to DuPage County 5-2 in a day game at Benedictine Sports Complex.
The game took only two hours, 10 minutes to complete. The Oilmen improve to 10-4 overall and 8-3 in Midwest Collegiate League games this season, while the Admirals fall to 3-10. The Oilmen are in second place in the MCL standings, chasing the DuPage County Hounds by 2.5 games.