06/27/2014 9:53 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 27, 2014 – Going into Friday’s game, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen had not defeated the DuPage County Hounds this season. Then again, the Hounds had not yet faced Oilmen starter Cameron Linck.
Northwest Indiana found the missing link in the form of Linck in Friday’s 5-0 victory over the Hounds. The Hill College right-hander hurled seven shutout innings to improve to 4-0 this season.
The Hounds, who were shutout for the first time this year, mustered up just three hits against Linck.
“He had a good breaking ball going for him,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “He got behind a few hitters and walked a few hitters, but then he made quality pitches to get out of it. When you’ve got a good hook going like that, you’re able to keep hitters off balance.”
Linck had faced the Joliet Admirals in three of his first four starts this season. Friday was the first time Linck had opposed a Midwest Collegiate League opponent other than the Admirals, with his only prior non-Joliet start coming against the Michigan City Lakers. His success against Joliet carried over into Friday’s game against first-place DuPage County.
“I knew they were a good club, and I just wanted to go out and have some fun,” Linck said. “This league is more about maintaining for me, but also just going out and having some fun. I knew that (DuPage) had a couple guys that are pretty good. I watched them in BP and they took some pretty good hacks.”
When Linck joined the Oilmen from a junior college in Texas, Huisman did not know what to expect from him with the transition from Hill College to the MCL.
“He had some innings down there, so I knew he was a good pitcher, but you never know what you’re going to get coming up here and pitching against these guys,” Huisman said. “I thought he would do well for us, but he’s obviously done a great job.”
Matt Frawley received the start for DuPage County as ace Pat Cashman was a late scratch. Frawley shutdown the Oilmen through six innings, but Kevin DeFilippis came through with a clutch two-out single in the seventh to start the scoring.
A Jason Gasser ground ball rolled through the legs of DuPage first baseman Alex Cain, allowing two more runs to score. Then, a Matt Frawley balk allowed another run to cross.
“We did get a couple of big two-out hits finally, but we didn’t come through earlier in the game,” Huisman said. “A couple big hits and a couple big errors was the difference in the game.”
The win allowed the Oilmen to pull within four games of the Hounds (16-4) in the league standings. It also snapped DuPage County’s eight-game winning streak.
The Oilmen (12-7, 10-6) have a quick turnaround as they head to Sugar Grove for a noon start on Saturday. The next Oilmen home game will be the Veterans Benefit Game on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. A special patriotic display of American’s pastime will take place as 60 percent of all ticket revenue will be donated to the Veterans Build Project, a joint effort between Habitat for Humanity and Northwest Indiana Veterans Action Council. In addition, a fireworks show will follow the game.