06/12/2016 6:30 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 12, 2016 – Regardless of the role, Oilmen manager Adam Enright knew he wanted Sam Geraci back for a second summer with the team.
When the opportunity presented itself to retain his former shortstop as a pitcher, Enright was quick to pencil him into the starting rotation.
That maneuver paid off in a big way on Sunday as Geraci put a scuffling Oilmen team on his back to pave the way for a 6-2 win over Joliet.
Geraci (1-0) yielded two runs (one earned) on six hits, one walk and five strikeouts to notch the win.
“The curveball felt really good,” Geraci said. “That was my go-to pitch, and it was a reliable one. Fastball command was good. I definitely want to work on my changeup.”
Geraci was converted to a pitcher only last fall at Parkland, and that’s what he’s expected to do as he heads to Division-II Illinois Springfield this season.
“I knew I wanted him back no matter what he ended up doing because of the kind of kid he is,” Enright said. “He’s a good teammate. No matter what capacity, I wanted him back either way.”
The bulk of the Oilmen offense came in a five-run fourth inning that turned a 2-1 Admiral lead into a 6-2 Oilmen advantage. Brad Bohlen (Northern Kentucky / Chicago Heights, Ill.) smoked a two-run double, Stefano Belmonte (Florida Gulf Coast / Munster, Ind.) and Chase Dawson (Valparaiso / Chesterton, Ind.) notched RBI singles and Tommy Szczasny (Northern Illinois / Tinley Park, Ill.) lifted a sacrifice fly.
Enright pointed toward Bohlen’s double as the key hit of the game to help the Oilmen improve to 6-8.
“He’s been struggling both offensively and defensively, and I know he’s a little disappointed with the way he’s been playing. That was a good moving forward point for him. For us to win and do well this summer, he’s going to be a big piece of that.”
The Admirals pitching staff issued nine walks, five of which came in the first inning. Zack Forney walked with the bases full in the first to force home the first run of the game.
Adam Zuk (0-1) was nailed for five runs on eight hits in three innings to take the loss in relief. The Admirals drop to 6-8 on the season.
The Oilmen committed four errors, three by Bohlen at shortstop. That came on the heels of the team making six errors on Saturday against the Vikings.
Bohlen and Dawson have been splitting time at short after Bo Fletcher and Jimmy Govern went down with injuries. Govern’s PCL partial tear will cost him the remainder of the season, while Enright expects an update on Fletcher’s wrist this week.
“It spreads us thin on the infield,” Enright said. “If Fletcher’s not able to go, we’ve got to add or do something. We’re not going to survive making four to six errors per game.”
Chase Dawson notched two hits, while Jordan Flint (Eastern Illinois / Bartlett, Ill.) put together a 3-for-3 day.
Eric Frontzak (Alma College / Naperville, Ill.) worked a scoreless ninth to secure the win.
After six straight game days, the Oilmen will enjoy back-to-back off days on Monday and Tuesday before returning to the diamond to take on the Lakers on Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. It’s Ladies Night with all preferred tickets available for the discounted price of $5.