The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Oilmen Attempt to Remain in Second Place in MCL

06/23/2014 1:24 PM -

Southland Vikings (8-5)
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (10-5, 8-4)

June 23, 2014 • 7:10 p.m. (CT) • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: None

For Starters
The Oilmen had their seven-game winning streak snapped on Sunday night with a 2-1 loss to DuPage County. The Oilmen stranded 10 runners on base including the tying run at second in the ninth inning. Bishop Noll graduate and Indiana University commit Larry Crisler made his Oilmen debut, going 1-for-3 with a double and a hit by pitch. Crisler ripped a double high off the left field fence in the sixth inning, narrowly missing a home run. He batted sixth and started in left field in his first game with Northwest Indiana. Crisler also became the first Major League Baseball draft pick in Oilmen history after being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 36th round this year. Keith Mahler took a tough-luck loss on Sunday despite allowing only one earned run over five innings. Nick Nauracy retired all nine batters he faced in relief.

Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen suffered their first one-run defeat of the season on Sunday after starting 5-0 in one-run games. Ryan Burvan went 3-for-5 to boost his batting average to a team-best .356 in 12 games. Burvan also leads the team in on-base percentage at .423, while Jason Gasser leads the club in RBIs with eight. Scott Jerge has pitched in 9 2/3 innings and has not yet allowed an earned run this season. Keith Mahler leads the team in ERA among starting pitchers at 1.63.

Inside the Vikings
The Southland Vikings are coming off back-to-back rainouts after being postponed on Sunday against Joliet and Saturday at DuPage. Southland’s most recent game was a 5-4 victory over Lexington on Friday night at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Dan Potempa drilled a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to allow the Vikings to pull out a dramatic victory. The Oilmen were scheduled to face Brandon White last Wednesday in a game that was postponed due to rain. NWI will avoid the Southland ace as he is unavailable after starting Friday against Lexington.

About the Matchup
The Oilmen lead the season series with the Vikings two games to none and have split the all-time set right down the middle, 12-12. Jimmy McNamara has started both prior games against the Vikings this season, earning the win in both instances. The Oilmen have not officially named a starting pitcher for Monday’s game. McNamara’s most recent start was on Thursday night against the Zephyrs, but it was wiped out after three innings due to rain.

Around the League
The DuPage County Hounds have built a 3.5-game lead over the Oilmen for the top spot in the Midwest Collegiate League. The Lexington Snipes swept a doubleheader against the Chicago Zephyrs on Sunday to improve to 8-7 in MCL play.

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