07/25/2015 6:28 PM -
Chicago Heights, Ill. – July 25, 2015 – Going into Saturday’s doubleheader with Southland, Oilmen leadoff man Tyler Sroczynski’s expectations were low.
“It was one of those days where I woke up and I didn’t feel good,” Sroczynski said. “I didn’t feel good coming to the ballpark and I didn’t have my Five Hour Energy. It’s really hot out and I thought it was going to be a bad day overall.”
As he exited Hap Bruno Field, Sroczynski’s mood had brightened.
The Trinity Christian outfielder and Dyer native launched a tape-measure home run, drove in seven runs and collected six hits in the two games, helping the Oilmen to a doubleheader sweep of Southland.
The home run came in the fifth inning of the second game, a 13-1 Oilmen win. Sroczynski launched a long, three-run blast to left that he called the farthest ball he’s hit in his life. The banner day allowed him to lift his season RBI total to 25.
Both games involved the 10-run rule, as the Oilmen won the opener 10-0 in six innings and needed only five innings to nail down the game two win. They scored 23 runs in 11 innings a day after being held to only one hit. The victories snapped an eight-game road losing streak.
“Even though our guys knew we’re in the playoffs and they know what we’re capable of, it was starting to get a little tense,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “There was a little bit of panic with not being able to put a game together to compete with teams that we’ve been beating all year. To come out and take care of business is a good confidence booster for our guys going into this last stretch of games.”
In the second game, Alec Olund and Joe Jumonville joined Sroczynski with two hits apiece. Brian Seymour led the way by going 3-for-3. Seymour busted out of an 0-for-16 slump by picking up hits in four straight plate appearances.
Keith Mahler threw all five innings of game two, allowing one run on five hits in his final tune-up for the postseason. He finishes the season with a 5-1 record and 2.05 ERA.
Southland’s Robby Nunn (2-2) was tagged with the loss in the second game. He surrendered 11 runs (seven earned) on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings in his first start of the year after 12 relief appearances.
In the opening game, Oilmen pitcher Brian Jestice cruised through a six-inning complete game shutout, yielding three hits and issuing just one walk. Jestice (4-1) displayed improved control after walking six in each of his previous two starts.
Southland starter Mitch Prickett was on the losing end in the opening game, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. He drops to 0-2 this season.
Sam Geraci went 3-for-3 in the first game, while Brad Wood stroked three hits and drove in three. A day after seeing his 15-game on-base streak snapped, Josh Turnock responded by launching his first home run of the season and reaching base three times.
The doubleheader sweep allowed the Oilmen (22-16) to move within five games of first-place DuPage County and 1 ½ of second-place Lexington. In addition, the Oilmen assured that they will finish no lower than third in the Midwest Collegiate League standings.
The Vikings (11-25) are now 4 ½ behind fourth-place Joliet and a game behind fifth-place Michigan City. The Vikings are on the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention.
The Oilmen visit the Michigan City Lakers on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the final road game of the regular season.