06/28/2014 2:10 PM -
Sugar Grove, Ill. – June 28, 2014 – Oilmen pitcher Keith Mahler entered Saturday as a victim of a lack of run support, holding a 1-3 record despite a 1.63 ERA.
Mahler received all the support he needed on Saturday as the Oilmen jumped on the board with two first-inning runs and rolled to a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Zephyrs.
“The early run support is amazing,” Mahler said. “Being up 1-0 to start a game is great, and you definitely can’t complain if you have two runs to start out the game. That gives you a chance to win every time.”
Mahler yielded one run on five hits over seven innings to earn the win and improve to 2-3.
“He had another good outing for us,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “He only got in trouble a little bit when he got out of control. I think he got a little lazy in that one inning, but the next inning he went out there and had a really good inning.”
The Oilmen produced their first run of the game when Zack Jones walked with the bases loaded in the first. With Zephyrs starter Mitchell Holtz working from the windup with the bases full, Larry Crisler successfully stole home to make it 2-0. Crisler converted just the second steal of home in Oilmen history, joining Elliot Bajda from the 2012 team as the only two players to turn the trick.
“We’re always looking for advantages to put pressure on a team,” Huisman said. “Those are the types of things that coaches want them working on when they send them here, the small-ball types of things.”
Holtz lasted eight innings and allowed four runs and was tagged with the defeat. The Oilmen tacked on three runs in the top of the ninth with help from the wildness of reliever Rich Matyas. Matyas missed the zone with the first 13 pitches of his outing and totaled four walks and a hit batter in his inning.
The Oilmen improve to 13-7 and 11-6 in Midwest Collegiate League play, while the Zephyrs drop to 3-15. Northwest Indiana visits Joliet on Sunday afternoon in a game that will start 30 minutes following the completion of a 1 p.m. game between the Admirals and Zephyrs. The Oilmen return home for the Veterans Benefit Game on Tuesday, July 1 at 7:30 with 60 percent of all ticket revenue benefiting the Veterans Build Project.