07/06/2016 11:55 PM -
Hammond, Ind. – July 6, 2016 – Jake Perreira may have entered Wednesday 1-for-his-last-19, but Oilmen manager Adam Enright took umbrage with the suggestion that his catcher was slumping offensively.
“Just looking at his at-bats, I don’t think he was really struggling,” Enright said. “You can look at it as a slump as far as results were concerned, but he hit a bunch of balls to centerfield that just didn’t go anywhere, one against the Vikings that they caught on the wall in right center. He’s been on the tough-luck end of not getting things to fall.”
Perreira’s fortunes changed on Wednesday night, as he unloaded two home runs in the first game of Northwest Indiana’s doubleheader sweep of the Lakers. The Oilmen won the opener 8-5 and the second game 6-1.
Perreira (University of Indianapolis / Grant Park, Ill.) cracked a two-run homer against Bobby Humphreys in the second inning of the first game, then delivered a three-run blow as an encore in the fourth. He entered the game hitting .219 and had eight RBIs in 80 plate appearances before racking up five in his first two trips to the plate.
“It’s nice to see him reap the rewards of continually putting work in,” Enright said. “He’s a hard-working kid; I’m glad to see him come out on top.”
The Oilmen (16-15) jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Lakers (10-18) got back in the game with two in the fifth and two more in the sixth. The Oilmen tacked on a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Chase Fieldhouse and carried a four-run lead to the seventh.
All three batters Jamary McKinney (Chicago State / Chicago, Ill.) faced reached base to start the bottom of the seventh, so Enright summoned Hunter Clark (Eastern Illinois / Granger, Ind.) with runners at first and third, no outs and the Oilmen up 8-5.
Clark continued his season-long dominance by striking out all three batters he faced to nail down the save, his second of the season.
“If you don’t have a guy like that and you’re in that situation, you keep going with the guy that’s out there,” Enright said. “I didn’t want to take any chances because these were two pretty big games for us to win. Having Clark makes it a no-brainer; you put in the guy who hasn’t given up an earned run yet.”
Max Siedlecki (New Mexico Highlands / Evanston, Ill.) upped his record to 2-1 by achieving the win despite allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks over six innings. Humphreys was hit with the loss to drop to 0-2.
Stefano Belmonte (Florida Gulf Coast / Munster, Ind.) collected four hits and reached base six times in the two games.
In the second game, Sam Geraci (Illinois Springfield / Steger, Ill.) limited the Lakers to one run (unearned) on five hits and one walk in six innings. He improved to 3-0 on the season.
Tommy Szczasny (Northern Illinois / Tinley Park, Ill.) and Chris Baker (UIC / South Holland, Ill.) reached base three times apiece in the nightcap.
Lakers starter Casey Young allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits and seven walks while throwing a 137-pitch complete-game loss to drop to 1-1.
The Oilmen will attempt to extend their winning streak to three on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Bloomington’s O’Neil Park. The game broadcast will be available beginning at 5:10 on NWIOilmen.com.