07/15/2014 2:21 PM
DuPage County Hounds (21-8)
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (18-12, 16-11)
July 15, 2014 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Internet Broadcast: nwioilmen.com
The Oilmen avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season by salvaging the second game of Monday’s doubleheader with a 7-4 victory over Southland. The Oilmen dropped the opening game 2-1 in walk-off fashion as Chris Sujka rolled a ground-ball single through the left side of the infield in the bottom of the seventh inning to score the winning run. The Oilmen received quality pitching performances in both games as Cameron Linck went six strong frames and received no decision in the opener before Keith Mahler picked up the win in the nightcap. The Oilmen received a power surge in Monday’s second game as Zack Jones and Craig Dedelow each launched home runs.
Inside the Oilmen
As a team, the Oilmen rank fourth in the league in runs scored with 130 and third in earned run average at 3.50. The Oilmen have featured an array of power arms this season as the pitching staff leads the MCL in strikeouts at 258. The Oilmen team leader in batting average (excluding pitcher Jimmy McNamara, who is 1-for-1) is Craig Dedelow, who is batting .338 with one home run and 13 RBIs. Nate Schneider leads the club in the runs driven in with 15, while Jason Gasser has a team-best .426 on-base percentage.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds are 14-1 at home this season, but that success has not translated to road games. DuPage County is 7-7 away from the Village of Lisle Sports Complex this season. The Hounds are led offensively by Drew LaComb, who holds a .325 batting average with 12 RBIs. Connor Kopach is another key contributor with a .312 average and 12 runs batted in. DuPage County’s Richie Gorski leads the league in stolen bases with 15, while Kopach not far behind at 14 successful swiped bags.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen and Hounds reconvene just two days removed from Sunday’s bench-clearing altercation at Benedictine University. Clayton Johannes barreled into Oilmen catcher Andrew Ray on a play at the plate, leading to a shoving match between the two teams. No punches were thrown in the altercation. Ray and Johannes were both ejected from the game. The rivalry renews on Tuesday with the all-time series even at 10 wins apiece. The Hounds hold a 4-1 edge in the season series with three matchups left entering Tuesday.
Around the MCL
While DuPage County’s position as the top team in the league is far from secure with two weeks still remaining in the regular season, the most tightly-contested race is currently the battle for second place and the first-round home field advantage that comes along with it. The Southland Vikings and Lexington Snipes are currently tied for second, with the Oilmen only ½ game behind. The Vikings host the Zephyrs on Tuesday.
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