07/01/2016 10:21 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 1, 2016 – A week ago the Northwest Indiana Oilmen walked off with a dramatic, extra-inning win over DuPage County.
On Friday, it was the Hounds who returned the favor with a 3-2, 11-inning victory over the Oilmen.
The go-ahead run scored against Braden Niksich (0-1) in the 11th after two ground balls to shortstop Marshawn Taylor allowed runners to reach – one a hop he couldn’t handle and the second a ball that bounced over his head into left field for a run-scoring hit.
“Two bad hops to short are the only thing that allowed them to score,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “The ball bounced up and hit him in the chest and the ball bounced over his head. That’s what happens when you play extra innings and the field has been played on for that long, I guess.”
The loss causes the Oilmen (14-14) to slide back to .500 and drop to two games off the pace set by the first-place Hounds (15-11).
The Oilmen scored twice in the third on a Tommy Szczasny (Northern Illinois / Tinley Park, Ill.) run-scoring single and a Chris Baker (UIC / South Holland, Ill.) sacrifice fly. That 2-0 lead held until the seventh, when the Hounds tied it by scoring on a wild pitch and a ground ball to first base by Brandon Post.
After the third, the Oilmen went eight straight innings without scratching the scoreboard. DuPage starter Christian Bokich was charged with two runs on five hits in five frames, before Joey Roberson came on and dazzled in relief. The southpaw worked six shutout innings and yielded just two hits to earn the win and improve to 2-0.
“We didn’t have any timely hits,” Enright said. “We got in a lot of 2-0 and 3-1 counts and didn’t get any hits.”
Christian Howell bounced back from his last outing with a strong start that resulted no decision. He worked 7 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, both unearned. He scattered five hits while walking three and striking out seven.
“He didn’t worry about holding runners on and just worried about making pitches,” Enright said. “He was 0-2 on a lot of hitters and had a lot of strikeouts because of it. He’s pretty dangerous when he gets ahead because he has a lot of different looks and variations on his pitches.”
Hunter Clark continued to deal, working 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief while allowing one hit and striking out four. He did permit an inherited runner to score, but it was charged to Howell. Clark has not given up an earned run in 16 1/3 innings of work out of the Oilmen bullpen this summer.
DuPage’s Brandon Post and NWI’s Marshawn Taylor were the only two players in the game with multi-hit performances.
The Oilmen will attempt to get back on track on Saturday night against the Southland Vikings. It’s a Country Saturday with Marla Vickers Project performing beginning at 6:15 p.m. on the field before the game, with the first pitch slated for 7:20. Tickets are available now on NWIOilmen.com.