07/15/2014 12:28 AM -
Flossmoor, Ill. – July 14, 2014 – After a gut-wrenching defeat in the opening game of a doubleheader, some teams may come out with a little less skip in their step for the second game of the twin bill. Other teams may look at the second game as an opportunity for immediate redemption.
The Oilmen fell into the second category on Monday night at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. After dropping the opening game 2-1 in walk-off fashion, Northwest Indiana bounced back with a 7-4 victory in the second game.
“It’s kind of like a gift,” Oilmen outfielder Craig Dedelow said. “You lost one and now you have a chance to make up for it.”
In game one, Alex Lugo led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single against Oilmen pitcher Anthony Gomez. Pinch runner Kendall King advanced to second on a Jerry Houston sacrifice bunt.
After Brandon Mallder flew out to left field for the second out of the inning, the Oilmen elected to intentionally walk Bobby Sheppard to face Chris Sujka. The Indiana University outfielder made the Oilmen pay by grounding a walk-off single through the left side of the infield.
“It wasn’t fun losing that way,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “I know those infielders really wanted to try to keep that ball on the infield and it didn’t happen, so it was kind of a tough loss.”
Huisman said the intentional walk to Sheppard had more to do with creating a force at every base than it did with the opposing hitter.
“Just to set up a force at every base,” Huisman said. “It didn’t really have to do with the hitter. Sheppard has been swinging a hot bat lately, but more than that it was just setting up a force at every base.”
Cameron Linck received no decision despite allowing only one earned run over six innings. Gomez (1-1) took the loss in relief. Left-hander Jeff Boehm, typically a position player who occasionally sees time on the hill, worked the top of the seventh inning and earned the win.
Dan Potempa’s solo homer in the second inning of game one was the first run of the day. Alec Ornelas delivered a pinch-hit double in the sixth inning to plate Nick Vogelmeier and tie the game at one.
On the night of Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, the Oilmen and Vikings engaged in a miniature home run derby of their own. After Potempa’s game-one blast, Zack Jones cracked his first home run of the year in the second inning of game two. Jeff Boehm responded by leading off the fourth inning with a long ball, but Craig Dedelow got the last laugh with a two-run rocket to deep center in the fifth.
“I was just looking for a pitch to hit, luckily it was the first pitch,” Dedelow said. “I saw it and just jumped on it. It seemed to get out of here pretty quick, but I wasn’t really looking at it. I was just trying to get the extra base.”
Game two starter Keith Mahler turned in five innings of one-run ball while striking out eight and walking none. He was the winning pitcher to improve to 3-4, while Southland starter Kevin Hallberg was hit with the loss after allowing five runs on six hits over five innings.
After scoring three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, the Oilmen opened up a comfortable 7-1 lead. However, the Vikings crept back into the game against Aaron Glatt, causing Huisman to call to upon Matt Pobereyko for a four-out save. After Jerry Houston’s infield single drove in an unearned run, Chris Sujka flied to right to end the sixth as the Vikings stranded the bases loaded.
Pobereyko retired the side in order in the seventh to nail down his 10th save. Jones, Jason Gasser and Nick Vogelmeier each had two hits in the nightcap. Brodie Meyer singled in his first at-bat in game one, his first hit as a member of the Oilmen.
The Oilmen (18-12, 16-11 MCL) remain ½ game behind the Vikings (17-11) after the doubleheader split. The Vikings are still tied for second in the MCL with the Lexington Snipes with both squads 3.5 games off the pace set by the DuPage County Hounds.
The Oilmen return home on Tuesday night for a 7:10 first pitch against the DuPage County Hounds in the makeup of a game that was originally scheduled for Saturday.