The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Vikings visit OC for first time this season, Oilmen seek fourth straight win

06/28/2015 1:12 AM -

Southland Vikings (4-8)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (11-5)

June 28, 2015 • 4:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB
Internet Broadcast:
Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Brian Jestice (Evansville / Hoffman Estates, Ill.) vs. Joey Plaud (UW-Parkside)
For Starters
The Oilmen entered Saturday’s game without a home run all season at Oil City Stadium. They launched three in a 10-0 win over Joliet. It was the first time the Oilmen hit three home runs in a single game since July 16, 2012. When Brad Wood and Alec Olund drilled back-to-back jacks in the seventh inning, it was also the first time since July 16, 2012 that the Oilmen had consecutive long balls. In that game, Chris Rudenga and Bill Miller went back-to-back in the first inning of an eventual 11-5 loss to Southland at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Rudenga was in attendance for Saturday’s game as part of the 2012 Oilmen reunion. Saturday’s rout was NWI’s most lopsided victory since May 30, 2014, a 13-2 win over Joliet.
Inside the Oilmen
Tyler Sroczynski leads the Midwest Collegiate League in batting average among those who have enough at-bats to qualify at .447. Sam Geraci leads the league in walks with 12. Jordan Lewis has an MCL-leading three home runs. Stefano Belmonte is the league leader in the RBI department with 15. The Oilmen rank first in the MCL in team batting average at .299. They have seven players hitting .300 or better.  Jimmy Skiff leads the league in ERA at 0.47. Starting pitcher Brian Jestice will make his first start since June 20, when he was touched for four runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings at Lexington. He is 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in three games.
Inside the Vikings
The two-time defending Midwest Collegiate League champions are attempting to get back on track and avoid a down season. They suffered a 2-1, 10-inning loss in Lexington on Saturday night. Southland sits in fifth place in the Midwest Collegiate League with a 4-8 record. Southland is batting .261 as a team and has a team ERA of 4.67. Joey Plaud will make his second Southland start. He went four innings without yielding an earned run on June 6, receiving no decision after being touched for one unearned tally on six hits.
About the Matchup
Sunday marks the first time the Vikings have visited Oil City Stadium this season. The two teams have not seen each other since June 3, when the Oilmen prevailed 5-3 at Hap Bruno Field. The Oilmen will see plenty of the Vikings late in the season, with seven meetings jammed in a three-week span starting on July 9. The Oilmen are 15-17 all-time against Southland, and 11-10 in games played at Oil City Stadium.
Around the MCL
The Snipes and Lakers will play a tripleheader on Sunday at Marquette Athletic Complex in Michigan City. The two teams were already scheduled to play two, and the third game will make up a game that was rained out on the opening weekend of the season. All three games will be seven innings in length. The Hounds, who downed the Lakers 9-0 on Saturday, visit Joliet on Sunday.
Click "download attachment" to view full Oilmen game notes.