The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Game Notes: First Saturday home date pits Oilmen against Vikings

06/11/2016 10:43 AM -

Southland Vikings (5-6)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (5-7)

June 11, 2016 • 7:20 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 & 104.7 FM WJOB;

Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Max Siedlecki (New Mexico Highlights / Chicago, Ill.) vs. Southland’s Mario Samuel (Wisconsin Parkside / Bolingbrook, Ill.)

For Starters
The Oilmen saw their four-game winning streak snapped with a 6-5 loss to DuPage County on Friday night. It marked the first one-run game the Oilmen have played this season and the first regular season home loss since July 22, 2015 against Lexington. After averaging 3.29 runs per game through the first seven, the Oilmen are averaging 10 runs per game in their last five.

Inside the Oilmen
Chase Fieldhouse reached base four times while celebrating his birthday on Friday night. The 2-for-2 performance extended Fieldhouse’s hitting streak to eight. After going 0-for-2 in the season opener on May 27 at Bloomington, Fieldhouse has notched at least one hit in every game he’s played. His average is up to .357 and his OBP sits at .538. Chase Dawson is off to a strong start to his Oilmen career with nine hits in 17 at-bats. He has at least one hit in all four games and Friday marked the first game he played in which he did not have multiple hits. Tommy Szczasny is 5-for-8 through two games with the Oilmen. He turned in two hits against the Vikings on Thursday. After recording his second four-hit game of the year on Thursday against Southland, Stefano Belmonte went 0-for-4 on Friday against the Hounds. Starting pitcher Max Siedlecki comes in with an 0-1 record and 2.46 ERA in two starts, both at Bloomington. In his first start, Siedlecki received no runs of support. In his second start, he exited in position for the win, but the bullpen coughed up the lead.

Inside the Vikings
Mario Samuel will make his third appearance of the season on the mound. This will be his first start of the year after four innings of relief against the Hounds on May 26 and three innings out of the bullpen at DuPage on June 2. Samuel is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA with four walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. He plays his college ball at Wisconsin Parkside, where he went 2-4 with a 6.49 ERA in 12 games, 10 starts. The Rangers went 12-31 and 7-9 the Division-II Great Lakes Valley Conference. Southland’s most recent game was a 4-2 win over the Lakers on Friday night. Mitchell VanKoevering recorded two hits including a double. He’s hitting .500 and has hits in all four games he’s played this season. Tyler Crussen saw an eight-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-5 performance against the Oilmen on Thursday. The biggest Vikings news of the week came off the field, when former Southland player Corey Ray was selected as the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of Thursday’s Major League Baseball Draft. He became the highest draft pick in the history of the Midwest Collegiate League. Ray hit .328 in 17 games with the Vikings in 2013.

About the Matchup
The Oilmen have won seven straight head-to-head meeting with the Vikings dating back to July 9 of last season. The first meeting of the year between the two teams came on Thursday night at Oil City Stadium, a 15-4 Oilmen win. The Vikings have since leapfrogged back in front of the Oilmen in the league standings by ½ game. The Oilmen lead the all-time series against the Vikings 23-18.

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