06/25/2016 12:32 PM
Southland Vikings (10-10)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (10-11)
June 25, 2016 • 7:20 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: Online Only, NWIOilmen.com (7 p.m. pregame)
NWI’s Clay Keltner (Cornerstone / Highland, Ind.) vs. Southland’s Michael Shereyk (Southern Illinois Edwardsville / Flossmoor, Ill.)
As a team, the Oilmen lead the league in both ERA (3.53) and batting average (.307), yet they’re below .500. DuPage County ranks second in ERA at 4.36 and average at .287. Friday was the first Oilmen extra inning game this year and the first walk-off win of the season. Tommy Szczasny came off the bench to deliver an RBI single in the 11th to send the Oilmen into celebration after a 7-6 win over DuPage County. The last time the Oilmen had a walk-off win, it was also a Northern Illinois Huskie that provided the heroics. On July 13, 2015, Brad Wood ripped a double with raining pouring down to drive in Fred Smart and beat the Lexington Snipes 4-3 in a six-inning, rain-shortened game. The last time the Oilmen played extra innings before Friday was July 4, 2015, a 7-5 loss to the Lakers.
Inside the Oilmen
Chase Dawson enjoyed his biggest day in an Oilmen uniform with four hits including an RBI double in the fifth and an important bunt single in the 11th on Friday. Dawson has reached base in all 12 games he’s played with the Oilmen. Tyler Sroczynski stole two bases on Friday to improve to 13-for-13 this season. He has stolen 18 straight bases without being caught dating back to last year. Sroczynski is 30-for-33 in stealing bags in his Oilmen career. Sroczynski owns an 11-game hitting streak. After going 59 straight plate appearances without striking out, Stefano Belmonte struck out in back-to-back trips to the plate on Friday. Belmonte ranks second in the league in batting average at .429, behind only Michigan City’s Colin Willis (.466). Left-handed reliever Hunter Clark (11 IP) is the only player in the Midwest Collegiate League with more than eight innings pitched that has not allowed an earned run this season. Clark and Southland’s Brian Musidak are the only players in the league with more than three innings pitched who have not allowed an earned run. Saturday’s starting pitcher Clay Keltner is 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 19 2/3 innings over four starts. He has issued eight walks and struck out 14. In his last outing, he picked up the win with five shutout frames against DuPage County on June 17. This will mark the second time Keltner has faced Southland after he beat them on June 9 (5 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 3 BB).
Inside the Vikings
The Vikings rank last in the league in team ERA at 5.71. They hold a .274 team average, fourth in the MCL. Tyler Crussen owns a .350 batting average through 16 games. The team leader in RBIs is A.J. Fuller with 15. The Vikings saw a three-game winning streak end with Friday’s 9-4 loss to the Lakers. Starting pitcher Michael Shereyk is 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA in 21 innings. He has issued seven walks and struck out 10. Shereyk faced the Oilmen on June 9 and allowed six runs on 12 hits in five innings to take the loss. He allowed two runs (one earned) over seven innings to earn the win in his most recent start, which came against the Bobcats on June 19.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen have lost three straight head-to-head meeting with Southland after winning the previous seven games between the two teams. The Vikings beat the Oilmen 8-5 on Thursday night to improve to 3-1 against NWI this season. The Oilmen lead the all-time series 23-21.
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