The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Road to MCL Championship Begins in DuPage County

07/27/2014 11:55 PM -

No. 3 Northwest Indiana Oilmen (26-17, 24-16)
at No. 2 DuPage County Hounds (26-14)
*2014 Midwest Collegiate League Semifinal Series Game 1*

July 29, 2014 • 7 p.m. • Lisle, Ill.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB

Internet Broadcast:

Series Schedule and Pitching Matchups
Tuesday 7 p.m. at Benedictine University: Jimmy McNamara (3-3, 3.98 ERA) vs. Patrick Bellinger (3-0, 0.74 ERA)
Wednesday 7:10 p.m. at Oil City Stadium: Cameron Linck (5-2, 1.94 ERA) vs. Matt Frawley (2-3, 2.06 ERA)
Thursday 7 p.m. at Benedictine University: Pitching Matchup TBD

For Starters
The Oilmen are back in the Midwest Collegiate League playoffs for the third consecutive year. They hold an all-time record of 4-2 in the postseason with both losses coming to the Southland Vikings in the 2013 MCL Championship Series. The Oilmen have never lost a game in the opening round of the postseason, sweeping DuPage County and Lexington each of the last two years. The first game of a postseason series has been vital in Midwest Collegiate League history. In fact, since the league began in 2010 no team has erased a 1-0 deficit to win a best-of-three playoff series, with the team that wins game one going on to win the series in all 10 best-of-three playoff series in league history.

Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen will send left-handed pitcher Jimmy McNamara (Central Michigan | Lake Central) to the mound for the opening game of the 2014 Midwest Collegiate League Postseason. McNamara finished the regular season with a 3-3 record and a 3.97 ERA, walking seven while striking out 36. McNamara, now in his second season with the Oilmen, pitched in two postseason games in 2013. He is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his MCL postseason career. McNamara faced the Hounds once this season, allowing five runs on nine hits in five innings while suffering the loss on July 13.

Inside the Hounds
DuPage County has never won a postseason game in franchise history, going 0-4 in the first round over the last two years. The Hounds held first place in the Midwest Collegiate League from May 31 until July 23, slipping out of first for good with only four days remaining in the regular season. DuPage County will send ace Patrick Bellinger to the mound for the opening game of the postseason. Bellinger tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-hit ball against the Oilmen on July 22. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Zack Jones’ two-run single led to his exit. Bellinger earned the win in his only start against the Oilmen this season. Bellinger pitched in relief in Game 2 of the MCL Semifinal Series against Southland last season, allowing one unearned run in 1 1/3 innings.

About the Matchup
The Oilmen dropped six of the eight regular season meetings with DuPage County. The Hounds hold a slim 12-11 lead in the all-time series (regular season and postseason) with the Oilmen. The Oilmen were 0-4 in games played at the Village of Lisle Sports Complex this season. They have not won at DuPage since June 21, 2013. The last time the Oilmen and Hounds met in the postseason was 2012, when the Oilmen took both games of the MCL Semifinal Series. Northwest Indiana picked up a 5-1 win in the opener behind a strong pitching performance by Josh Negele. The Oilmen won game two in Lisle 10-6 as Jack Cinoman had four hits and Kyle Wood and Elliot Badja posted three hits apiece, allowing the Oilmen to clinch a berth in the MCL Championship Series in their inaugural season.

Regular Season Series: Hounds 6 games, Oilmen 2 games
May 31 at DuPage County: Hounds 8, Oilmen 1
June 5 at Northwest Indiana: Hounds 6, Oilmen 3
June 22 at DuPage County: Hounds 2, Oilmen 1
June 27 at Northwest Indiana: Oilmen 5, Hounds 0
July 13 at DuPage County: Hounds 5, Oilmen 3
July 15 at Northwest Indiana: Oilmen 2, Hounds 1
July 19 at Northwest Indiana: Hounds 6, Oilmen 2
July 22 at DuPage County: Hounds 8, Oilmen 4

Around the League
The defending Midwest Collegiate League champion Southland Vikings finished in first place in the regular season standings. The playoff matchups were not determined until the final day of the regular season on Sunday. The Vikings host the Lexington Snipes on Tuesday at Homewood-Flossmoor High School at 7:10 p.m. to start the postseason. The Snipes and Vikings have never met in the playoffs. Lexington, now in its second year in the league, was swept by the Oilmen in the 2013 MCL Semifinal Series.

Click "download attachment" to view a full PDF of Oilmen Game Notes.