07/29/2015 9:45 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 29, 2015 – The DuPage County Hounds will have to wait at least one more day before clinching their second Midwest Collegiate League regular season title.
The Oilmen put DuPage County’s celebration on hold with a 5-1 victory over the Hounds on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium, keeping themselves in contention for the league’s No. 2 seed in the process.
The Oilmen grabbed the lead with a four-run bottom of the eighth, featuring a go-ahead single by Tyler Sroczynski and long three-run homer by Alec Olund.
“Throughout the night, I was struggling getting my foot down,” Olund said. “I was missing balls that I should have been hitting. I was frustrated at the plate. I got my foot down on a fastball that was up in the zone, and I put a good swing on it.”
Olund’s swing gave the Oilmen three insurance tallies, helping lift pressure from Hunter Clark, who tossed the eighth and the ninth without allowing a run to pick up the win. Clark (1-1) has worked 7 1/3 scoreless frames this week.
Richard Yelnick also heaved two scoreless innings of relief, after starter Christian Howell limited the Hounds to one run (unearned) on five hits over five innings.
Sroczynski finished with two hits to lead the Oilmen, while DuPage County’s Zac Taylor, Dustin Krob and Ryan Fitzgerald all had two-hit games. Hounds starter Tom Conklin was removed after three scoreless innings. Joe Palasiewicz (1-2) allowed four runs in two innings and took the defeat.
The Oilmen take the head-to-head season series with the Hounds for the first time since 2012.
“I didn’t want to see them clinch here,” Enright said. “It’s a testament to them, because they’ve been outstanding all year. We didn’t break it open until the eighth inning, and they kept running guys out of the ‘pen. They’re probably going to finish the regular season with a couple wins, but I’m glad we could hold them off at our place.”
The significance of topping the Hounds was not lost on Olund, a Lake Central graduate who just completed his freshman season at Purdue.
“I remember that 13-4 game at their place,” he said. “It didn’t feel right to me. It didn’t sit pretty in my stomach. It’s always nice when you can come out and beat the No. 1 team in the league on your home field, and let teams know that we’re coming for a championship.”
DuPage County (29-14) hosts Southland in a doubleheader on Thursday. The Hounds need to win one of the two games to clinch the MCL regular season title.
The Oilmen (24-17) are now only two games behind Lexington for second place in the MCL and home-field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Oilmen host Michigan City on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. as they attempt to keep their hopes of the No. 2 seed in the MCL postseason alive. It’s Thirsty Thursday with ice-cold domestic 16 oz. beer available for only $2. Plus, all kids 12 and under receive free admission.