The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Game Notes: Friday face-off pits Oilmen against first-place Hounds

07/01/2016 11:27 AM -

DuPage County Hounds (14-11)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (14-13)

July 1, 2016 • 7:20 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB, 104.7 FM, (Pregame 7 p.m.)

Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Christian Howell (Minnesota State Mankato / Aurora, Ill.) vs. DuPage County’s Christian Bokich (Lee University / Burr Ridge, Ill.)

For Starters
As the calendar turns to July 1, the Oilmen are one game above the .500 mark at 14-13. For comparison, the Oilmen entered July 1 at 12-6 last season, 14-7 in 2014, 13-6 in 2013 and 15-7 in 2012. The Oilmen are in fourth place in the MCL standings, but they’re just one game behind first-place DuPage County. Southland and Joliet are tied for second, ½ game behind the first-place Hounds. Last year when the Oilmen reached Game 28, six games separated fourth from first. This year, it’s just one game. The Southland Vikings reached 13 wins on Thursday, surpassing their win total from all of last season.

Inside the Oilmen
Christian Howell will toe the rubber for the Oilmen on Friday night. He holds a 2-1 record and 4.43 ERA in 22 1/3 innings this season. Howell has issued 16 walks and struck out 18 in five games, four starts. His most recent outing came on June 23, when he yielded five earned runs on six hits and six walks in four innings to suffer his first loss of the year. Alex Nisle was promoted to fifth in the batting order for Thursday’s game, the second time he hit fifth this season and the first since June 2. Lakers starter Dan Snyder was perfect through five innings and hurled seven scoreless frames on Thursday as the Oilmen fell 5-1, dropping two of three to the last-place Lakers this week. Bo Fletcher’s infield single in the sixth on Thursday snapped a 1-for-21 slump. The Oilmen are 13-2 when they score six or more runs this season. When they score fewer than six runs, the Oilmen are 1-11. Tyler Srocyznski went 0-for-3 on Thursday, his first hitless game since June 2. That snaps a hitting streak that had reached 13 games. Srocyznski did a draw a walk to extend his on-base streak to 13. Corey Krolikowski played left field on Thursday, his first defensive appearance since Game 1 of the season at Bloomington. He had been used exclusively as a designated hitter due to an elbow injury. The Oilmen have two of the top four individuals in the league in batting average as Tommy Szczasny ranks third at .383 and Chase Dawson fourth at .379.

Inside the Hounds
The Hounds go with Christian Bokich as their starting pitcher on Friday night. Bokich has logged 19 innings and owns a 2.39 ERA this season with a 1-1 record and one save to go along with 11 walks and 11 strikeouts. This will be his sixth appearance of the season, but just his second start. Bokich pitched five innings in relief against the Oilmen last week, allowing one unearned run on three hits and three walks. His only start came again the Lakers on June 19, a loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks in six innings. Tyler Tesmond is the league leader in RBIs with 26. Dane Toppel is tied with Colin Willis of the Lakers for the league lead in on-base percentage at .522. The Hounds are coming off a 10-8 loss to Southland on Thursday. The Hounds stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The Vikings leaped out to an 8-0 lead before DuPage County made a game of it.

About the Matchup
The Oilmen and Hounds had a memorable meeting last week that took 11 innings to complete. The game ended with Tommy Szczasny stroking a walk-off single to give the Oilmen a 7-6 victory. The two teams have split the first four meetings of the year, while the Hounds lead the all-time series 20-18.

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