06/23/2014 9:54 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 23, 2014 – Saving a game is nothing unusual for Oilmen closer Matt Pobereyko, the Midwest Collegiate League all-time saves leader. Nailing down a game with his brother in line for the win, however, was a first-time experience on Monday night.
Danny Pobereyko tossed five scoreless innings and picked up the victory as the Oilmen prevailed 3-2 over the Southland Vikings. Pobereyko (2-1) was making only his second start of the season after allowing five earned runs in three innings against DuPage County on June 5.
“I saw an improvement from his first couple of outings,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “Unfortunately with the rain always falling on his start days, he’s had to throw out of the pen a little in between those starts. I was worried about him getting tired and he did start to get a little tired, but he battled through it and had a great outing for us.”
Brother and fellow Bishop Noll graduate Matt Pobereyko secured the save, improving to 8-for-8 in save chances this season.
“It’s getting to the point where he comes into the game and you just know that it’s over,” Danny Pobereyko said. “He’s doing a really good job of shutting them down at the end.”
Matt Pobereyko underwent a second elbow surgery in February and threw only three innings during the spring season at Kentucky Wesleyan. However, he’s been at close to full strength since joining the Oilmen.
“I think the second surgery fixed whatever was wrong in between Tommy John and having that surgery,” Pobereyko said. “I feel good. This is the best I’ve felt in my college career.”
Anthony Gomez and Garrett Sherrell provided the bridge between the Pobereyko brothers. Gomez worked a scoreless fifth but was removed with one away and a runner on base in the seventh with the Oilmen leading 3-0. Two runs eventually scored in the frame, one charged to Gomez and the other to Sherrell.
After Jeff Boehm’s run-scoring double made it a one-run game, Dan Potempa rolled a ground ball to first base as the Vikings stranded the potential tying run at second.
Sherrell rebounded in his second inning of work, sending the Vikings down in order in the eighth.
“He was a little more timid with his breaking stuff in that first innings, so we talked about it in between innings,” Huisman said. “He made the adjustment and went out there and had a great one-two-three inning for us.”
The Oilmen mustered up only four hits offensively, but they were able to take full advantage of any scoring chances they had. The first Northwest Indiana run of the game crossed the plate on an error by Southland third baseman Stefano Belmante in the fourth inning. Another unearned run scored a moment later as Alec Ornelas hit an RBI bouncer that would have ended the inning, but instead allowed Larry Crisler to score.
Nate Schneider laced a clutch run-scoring double in the sixth inning to plate Zack Jones for what at the time was an insurance run to build the lead to 3-0. That tally proved to be the difference in the game.
The Oilmen (11-5, 9-4 MCL) inched within three games of the DuPage County Hounds for the top spot in the Midwest Collegiate League. Northwest Indiana has won all three meetings with the Vikings (8-6) this season.
The Oilmen are off on Tuesday before hosting the Chicago Zephyrs on Wednesday night at 7:10 at Oil City Stadium. It’s a Way Back Wednesday with all fans receiving half off the price of admission. The Oilmen will hold Community Night on Thursday against the Joliet Admirals with all tickets available for $4 that evening.