06/30/2015 10:12 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 30, 2015 – After everything seemed to go right for four straight days to start the homestand, the Oilmen seemed to run out of magic on Tuesday night.
The first streak that fell was that of Northwest Indiana’s recent starting pitching dominance. With one out in the first, Tyler Loesher issued his fourth walk of the game, forcing in a run and yielding the first earned run allowed by an Oilman starter in the last five games. By the time the first inning concluded, Michigan City was out to a 3-0 lead.
Fast-forward to the ninth inning, and another streak fell as Antonio Majstorov nailed down the save in his Laker debut, snapping a four-game Oilmen winning streak. Michigan City prevailed 6-5.
Five of the six Oilmen losses this season have come by one run, with the other setback featuring a two-run margin. Half of Northwest Indiana’s defeats have come to the Lakers, who now hold a 3-1 mark against the Oilmen.
The Oilmen stranded two in the sixth and left Jordan Lewis on third in the seventh. Then came their most favorable scoring chance, when Sam Geraci doubled to place runners at second and third with one out in the eighth. Tyler Sroczynski and Brian Seymour – the top two hitters in the order – were both retired on ground-ball outs to end the inning without a run crossing.
“We had plenty of opportunities getting guys on base and just couldn’t drive them in,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “The timely hitting just didn’t happen.”
Loesher was lifted after yielding three runs on four walks and one hit in the first.
“He threw 30 pitches and 25 of them were balls,” Enright said. “You can’t wait to see if that’s going to fix itself. You’ve got six guys in the ‘pen who have less innings than he does, who are itching to get out there and have done really well. If one guy doesn’t have it, the next guy is up and gets his chance.”
That guy was Sam Bell, who threw five solid innings in relief of Loesher. In his fifth inning of work, the Lakers touched him for two runs to grab a 6-5 lead that they would not surrender. Bell took the defeat to drop to 1-2.
“(Bell) fits that role for us perfectly when our starter isn’t good early,” Enright said. “He’s a good option to run out there for four or five innings. He’s an emergency starter if things go wrong in the first.”
Mike Lorenzi (1-0) notched the win with two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits.
Zack Jones was the only Oilman with a multi-hit game, while Joe Jumonville provided NWI’s offensive highlight with a two-out, run-scoring triple in the fifth.
The Oilmen slip into a first-place tie with the DuPage County Hounds, who did not play a league game on Tuesday. NWI (12-6) will have another shot at Michigan City (6-14) on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium.
On Wednesday, it’s a special night that intertwines America’s heroes and America’s pastime. For the fourth consecutive year, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen will hold a Veterans Benefit Game. All tickets are $12 and can be purchased by visiting NWIOilmen.com. Game proceeds benefit the Northwest Indiana Veterans Action Council.