06/30/2016 9:40 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 30, 2016 – Technically speaking, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen saw the same pitcher they saw on June 8 again on Thursday.
Ask any Oilmen player, and they may insist it was a completely different player.
The Oilmen walked away tipping their cap to Dan Snyder, who logged seven scoreless innings to lift the Lakers over the Oilmen 5-1.
Snyder was perfect through five and allowed just two hits and one walk total. Blake Cleveland (Central Michigan / Nappanee, Ind.) cracked a single to deep left with one out in the sixth to break up the perfect game, but Cleveland was thrown out by left fielder Tommy Fuessel trying to extend it to a double.
The only other Oilmen hit again Snyder was an infield single by Bo Fletcher.
“Just absolute dominance,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said on Snyder. “Off-speed not only for strikes, but filthy. Good movement, throwing it like a fastball. Good arm speed. Our guys were just up there hoping they guessed right, and we didn’t. The guy just absolutely dealt.”
“We saw two completely different pitchers in those two starts,” Enright said. “The first time he was throwing all fastballs up in the zone because he had no command of his off-speed. Later in the game after he gave up seven in the first, he started throwing off-speed, but it wasn’t quite as good as (Thursday).”
Richard Yelnick (Trinity Christian / New Lenox, Ill.) suffered his first loss of the year to drop to 2-1. The Oilmen starting pitcher gave up three runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks over six innings.
“He was a little bit disoriented for the first couple innings,” Enright said. “His mechanics weren’t the same as they were in previous starts, and we all know his command is much better than what he showed as far as getting ahead of hitters. He did a little better late in the game. He’ll go out there and keep us in a game no matter what kind of stuff he has.”
Brothers Antony and Alec Olund had two hits apiece for the Lakers, while Zach Thorn and Max Kerr also enjoyed multiple hit performances.
The Oilmen avoided the shutout with a ninth-inning run against Chad Mateja that came on a Tommy Szczasny (Northern Illinois / Tinley Park, Ill.) RBI single.
But when it comes to Thursday’s game, the big story was Dan Snyder.
“That’s baseball,” Enright said. “That’s why there’s no Super Bowl of baseball. Series are always what tell the tale for what team is better than another team, because there could be a night like this where one guy is on his game and it’s pretty close to impossible to win.”
The Oilmen (14-13) had a chance to climb into a first-place tie, but instead they drop to fourth place in the Midwest Collegiate League. DuPage County leads the league, while Joliet and Southland are both just ½ game behind the Hounds in a tie for second. The Oilmen are the fourth-place team, but only a game out of first.
The Oilmen and Hounds face off on Friday night at Oil City Stadium beginning at 7:20. The first 400 fans through the gates will receive a free patriotic Oilmen T-shirt.