06/13/2015 9:59 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 13, 2015 – Oilmen manager Adam Enright witnessed far too many games a year ago where a strong outing by the team’s pitching staff went to waste due to a dearth of offense.
That hasn’t been the case this year, as the Oilmen have scored five runs or more in each of the team’s first nine games. The trend continued in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Fort Wayne Jackers.
“It’s a breath of fresh air after the last two years,” Enright said. “That was our Achilles heel. We would keep teams under three runs, but we sometimes had trouble pushing one or two across. It’s been great to – knock on wood – count on five or six runs a game.”
Jordan Lewis tallied three hits including a triple and drove in one, while Stefano Belmonte (South Suburban / Munster, Ind.), Tyler Sroczynski (Wabash Valley / Trinity / Dyer, Ind.) and Joe Jumonville (Northern Illinois / Munster, Ind.) notched two hits each.
Belmonte jacked a run-scoring double off the brick wall to plate Brad Wood for the first Oilmen run. Tim Talbert batted in the only Fort Wayne run in the top of the second, then Joe Jumonville ripped a run-scoring single in the fourth to allow the Oilmen to regain the lead at 2-1.
Tyler Loesher (Kishwaukee / Woodstock, Ill.) made his Oilmen debut, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings to pick up the win. He issued four walks and struck out six.
“There were a lot of good pitches and a lot of soft contact,” Enright said. “In between those and sharp off-speed pitches were a lot of pitches where mechanics weren’t exactly where he wanted them to be. That caused the ball to elevate and off-speed stuff to flatten out. As we go through the summer, he’ll be able to get sharper. Bullpens and games are totally different beasts.”
The Oilmen bullpen was strong again, as Christian Sullivan (Franklin / Schererville, Ind.) sent down the Jackers in order in the eighth, before Jimmy Skiff (Purdue Calumet / Dyer, Ind.) duplicated that performance in the ninth.
“It makes our job easy when we can count on guys to go out and have efficient innings,” Enright said. “We haven’t had the doors come off in the bullpen yet this year. When you have guys that can not only put up zeros, but throw 10-15 pitch innings, it sets you up nicely for the next day.”
The Oilmen round out the homestand on Sunday with a 4:10 first pitch against the DuPage County Hounds. The two teams enter Sunday’s game locked in a first-place tie in the Midwest Collegiate League with identical 6-2 records.