07/01/2015 10:08 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 1, 2015 – The Oilmen home-run club gained a new member on Wednesday against Michigan City.
First it was Jordan Lewis with the team’s only three long balls. Then, Brad Wood, Alec Olund and Stefano Belmonte got in on the power act earlier on this homestand. That ignited a desire for Tyler Sroczynski (Trinity Christian / Dyer, Ind.) to join the fun.
“The past couple days, that’s all I’ve been thinking about after a couple of other guys were hitting them,” he said. “I was trying too hard in the last game, and I didn’t do too well. I popped a couple up. I finally got it, and I think that got me out of my slump.”
The home run, a three-run shot in the seventh, was the final blow of an 11-2 victory over the Lakers on Veterans Benefit Night at Oil City Stadium.
The pivotal inning was the fifth, when the Oilmen expanded a two-run lead to six by scoring four times. Joe Jumonville, Sam Geraci, Josh Turnock and Jeremy Wright strung together run-scoring hits in consecutive fashion.
The Oilmen have made a habit of hit parades and big innings on this homestand.
“Usually they’re later in the game, and that’s just getting through the lineup once or twice,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “There are plenty of good hitters in our lineup. Even if they’re not successful one time through, they’re going to be ready for their second and third at-bats. They’re constantly thinking the game.”
Six Oilmen had multi-hit games as Sroczynski, Belmonte, Jumonville, Geraci, Turnock and Wright each chipped in two hits. Scott Kapers (Valparaiso / Schererville, Ind.) was the only Michigan City player with more than one hit, as he finished 2-for-5.
Christian Howell (Minnesota State Mankato / Aurora, Ill.) picked up the victory despite not having his best stuff, gutting through seven innings and only allowing two runs on eight hits and four walks. He improved to 2-0 with the win.
“I’d hate to complain about too many strikes, but he threw too many strikes in some spots,” Enright said. “He got to 0-2 and 1-2 counts and they put good contact in play because he was leaving sliders over the plate instead of burying them for swings and misses.”
Hunter Clark heaved two scoreless frames in relief. Michigan City’s Shane Prance (0-1) was hit with the defeat, allowing eight runs (six earned runs) on nine hits in six innings.
The Lakers drop to 7-14 with the defeat.
The Oilmen (13-6) remain deadlocked atop the Midwest Collegiate League standings with the DuPage County Hounds, who also won on Wednesday. The two teams will square off for sole possession of first place on Thursday night at 7:10 at Oil City Stadium.