06/16/2016 9:37 AM
Bloomington Bobcats (9-4)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (7-8)
June 16, 2016 • 7:20 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 & 104.7 FM WJOB, NWIOilmen.com
NWI’s Richard Yelnick (Parkland / Trinity Christian / New Lenox, Ill.) vs. Bloomington’s Nick Brune (Illinois Wesleyan / Mundelein, Ill.)
The Oilmen have scored in the first inning in nine straight games. NWI has committed four or more errors in three consecutive games. The Oilmen have had seven errors charged to their starting shortstop over the last three games with three different players getting starts at short. The Oilmen made 64 errors all of last season, and they’re already at 35 in 15 games (just 29 percent of the schedule has been played.) The Oilmen are statistically the second-worst defensive team in the MCL. Their .922 fielding percentage and 35 errors rank better than only Southland (.913 / 37). With a win on Thursday, the Oilmen can improve to .500 for the first time this season.
Inside the Oilmen
Tyler Sroczynski batted sixth in the Oilmen order on Wednesday, snapping a streak of 35 straight Oilmen starts in the leadoff spot. Before Wednesday, Sroczynski hit leadoff in 41 of his 42 games with the Oilmen, with the only exception coming on June 18, 2015 when he hit cleanup against DuPage County. Sroczynski extended his hitting streak to six with a sixth-inning single. Bo Fletcher returned from a wrist injury and played in just his fourth game of the summer and first since May 29 on Wednesday. Chase Fieldhouse returned after missing two games with hamstring tightness and extended his hitting streak to nine games. Fieldhouse reached base in all four plate appearances and has now reached safely in nine straight trips to the plate. Chase Dawson has played all seven games since reporting to the team. He extended his on-base streak to seven with a sixth-inning single on Wednesday. Thursday’s starting pitcher Richard Yelnick has not allowed a walk in seven innings this year. He owns a 1.29 ERA and 1-0 record in three games, one start. His lone start came against the Admirals on June 5, when he allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits, three strikeouts and no walks to pick up the win. He tossed scoreless frames of relief against DuPage County on Friday and Southland on Saturday.
Inside the Bobcats
The first-place Bobcats are coming off a 6-1 win over the Hounds on Wednesday. Nick Green went 3-for-4, while Pat Mollo and Grant Anderson had two hits apiece. Nick Brune takes the mound on Thursday for his fourth start of the season. He is 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings. He threw six shutout frames against DuPage on June 1, went 5 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits against the Hounds on June 7 and allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits to the Lakers in 3 1/3 innings in his last outing on Saturday. He’ll work Thursday’s game on four days of rest. Bloomington pitchers have a collective 2.59 ERA.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen have already lost the season series to the Bobcats, dropping the first four meetings in Bloomington. The Oilmen are 0-6 against the league’s top two teams (Bobcats and Hounds), but 7-2 against everyone else. In four meetings with the Bobcats, the Oilmen have been shutout twice and scored two runs and four runs in the other two meetings. Thursday’s game is the only matchup between the two squads at Oil City Stadium this season. They face off in Bloomington on July 7 and July 29.
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