07/23/2015 9:47 AM -
July 23, 2015 • 5 p.m. • Lemont, Ill.
Internet Broadcast: nwioilmen.com
NWI’s Enrique Zamora (Calumet College / Hammond, Ind.) vs. DuPage County’s Joe Palasiewicz (Benedictine / Somonauk, Ill.)
The Hounds have become the first team in the Midwest Collegiate League to nail down a playoff spot, with the Oilmen and Snipes on the brink of following suit. The Oilmen lead the league in ERA at 3.40. Offense has been hard to come by, as the Oilmen have been limited to one run in three of the last four games. The Oilmen embark on a five-game Pierogi Fest road swing on Thursday. The Oilmen have lost six straight road games and are 6-8 away from Oil City Stadium this season after going 5-1 to start the year. The Oilmen are 8-8 in the month of July.
Inside the Oilmen
Stefano Belmonte has not driven in a run in his last four games. He still leads the league in RBIs at 26, but Lexington’s Jared McCunn (25) and DuPage County’s Trent Carrier (23) are hot on his tail. Fred Smart is one hit by pitch away from matching Elliot Bajda’s single-season franchise record of nine that was established in 2012. Enrique Zamora has the best ERA in the MCL among starting pitchers at 1.99. He gets the ball on Thursday against the Hounds. In his last outing, Zamora set the Oilmen single-game franchise record for strikeouts with 11. He has a chance to etch his name on another line in the Oilmen record book on Thursday, as he is nine strikeouts away from matching Danny Pobereyko’s single-season franchise record of 52. Zamora is the league leader in strikeouts with 43. He is 4-1 overall and 2-0 against the Hounds this season.
Inside the Hounds
Starting pitcher Joe Palasiewicz will be making his second start as a member of the Hounds. He has appeared in three games, and is 0-1 with a 2.00 ERA, one walk and 10 strikeouts. The right-handed hurler owned a 1-3 record with a 3.26 ERA in 14 games, three starts for Benedictine this spring. Palasiewicz’s only MCL start came on July 16 against the Lakers, when he allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings. The Hounds saw a late rally come up short on Wednesday night. They scored twice in the eighth and twice in the ninth to whittle Southland’s lead to two, but Ryan Fitzgerald lined out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to end the game. Starter Danny Riley was touched for six runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks as the Vikings posted their highest run total since June 20 to win 8-6. Zac Taylor is leading the league in hitting at .421. The Hounds are hitting .310 as a team to lead the MCL.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen hold a 4-3 lead in the season series against the Hounds with one meeting remaining after Thursday. The Oilmen can clinch the season series with a win on Thursday. It would be the first time since the championship season of 2012 that the Oilmen have won the season set against the Hounds.
Around the MCL
The Admirals swept a doubleheader from the Lakers on Wednesday to regain sole possession of fourth place in the standings. The only other league game on Thursday pits the Lexington Snipes against the Southland Vikings are 5 p.m. at Hap Bruno Field.
Click "download attachment" to view full Oilmen game notes.