06/02/2016 6:52 AM
Northwest Indiana Oilmen (1-3)
at Bloomington Bobcats (2-1)
June 2, 2016 • 4:30 p.m. • Bloomington, Ind.
Radio: Game 1 internet only; Game 2 WJOB 1230 AM
Game 1 - NWI’s Clay Keltner (Cornerstone / Highland, Ind.) vs. Jackson Bronke (Heartland / Normal, Ill.)
Game 2 – NWI’s Reggie Johnson (Alcorn State / Chicago, Ill.) vs. Zach Frey (Illinois Springfield / Bloomington, Ill.)
The Oilmen have dropped three of their first four, but they will start to creep back to full strength this week after missing a large number of players who were finishing their spring seasons last week. Tyler Sroczynski (Trinity Christian), Brad Bohlen (Northern Kentucky), Blake Cleveland (Central Michigan), Stefano Belmonte (Florida Gulf Coast), Chris Baker (UIC) and Richard Yelnick (Parkland) are expected to debut on Thursday.
Inside the Oilmen
Cory Krolikowski (Minnesota Duluth / Bartlett, Ill.) is off to a strong start, having batted .467 through the first four games of the season. He leads the team in average and hits with seven. Jimmy Govern is out to an early team lead with five RBIs, Zack Forney is the team leader in OBP at .545 and Josh Fewell paces the squad in walks with five. Christian Howell twirled the 14th complete game in franchise history, a seven-inning outing in Game 2 of a doubleheader against Joliet on Sunday. Howell also threw a complete game against Lexington on July 22, 2015, so he moves within one of Michael Steenson’s career franchise record of three. The Oilmen received their first complete game in Game 4 of the season this year. For comparison, the Oilmen went the entire 2014 season without a complete game. Reggie Johnson will start on three days of rest on Thursday after taking the loss in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Inside the Bobcats
The Bloomington Bobcats hold a .235 team batting average, but a sparkling 2.08 team ERA. Garrett Shea is the team’s leading hitter with a .417 average. Mitch Weis earned MCL Pitcher of the Week recognition by shutting down the Oilmen last week with seven scoreless innings. Nick Brune was also stellar for the Bobcats on Wednesday, working six shutout frames in a 9-0 rout of DuPage County, the Hounds’ first loss of the season. They send a pair of incoming freshmen to the mound on Thursday, with Heartland’s Jackson Bronke scheduled to be followed by Illinois Springfield’s Zach Frey.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen and Bobcats will hook up for the second and third times ever on Thursday. The Bobcats returned from a hiatus that dated back to 2002 with a 3-0 victory over the Oilmen in the first ever meeting on May 27. The Oilmen will seek their first ever win over the Bobcats on Friday. Max Siedlecki worked five strong innings and took a tough-luck loss on May 27 at Bloomington. He is the only Oilmen pitcher who has seen action who has not issued a walk yet this season.
Around the League
The Oilmen enter the day in last place in the Midwest Collegiate League, while the Michigan City Lakers start Thursday atop to the league standings. The DuPage County Hounds are up to their old tricks of stealing bases. Their league-high 18 stolen bases are more than the Oilmen, Vikings, Lakers and Bobcats combined. The Oilmen rank third in the league in batting average (.254) and fifth in ERA (4.03). The Southland Vikings lead the league in hitting at .308.
Click "download attachment" to view full Oilmen game notes.