07/22/2016 10:54 AM
DuPage County Hounds (23-18)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (24-18)
July 22, 2016 • 7:20 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB, 104.7 FM (pregame 7 p.m.)
Online: NWIOilmen.com, wjob1230.com
NWI’s Clay Keltner (Cornerstone / Highland, Ind.) vs. DuPage County’s Nick Alfini (St. Ambrose / Downers Grove, Ill.)
The Oilmen improved to 8-0 all-time in weather-shortened games with a 6-2, five-inning win over Southland on Thursday. Friday’s game is another important one in the league standings, with the second-place Oilmen one game behind first-place Joliet and ½ game ahead of third-place DuPage County. Elsewhere, Bloomington took a one-game lead over Southland for the fourth and final playoff spot by virtue of Thursday’s results. Friday’s scheduled game between Joliet and Bloomington has been postponed, so the Oilmen can pull to within ½ game of the Admirals with a win. The Oilmen improved to 26-3 when scoring six or more runs and remained 1-15 when scoring five or fewer after Thursday’s triumph.
Inside the Oilmen
Jordan Flint enjoyed his eighth multi-hit game of the season by going 2-for-2 on Wednesday. Chris Baker drew his 26th base on balls to draw within four walks of Jack Czeszewski’s single-season franchise record established in 2013. While records for batting average, walks, hit by pitches, stolen bases, ERA, home runs and runs scored are all either being threatened or already shattered, there are some Oilmen records that will not be touched this season. Matt Pobereyko’s 13 saves in 2014 and 18 career saves may be the MCL’s version of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. The mark is unlikely to ever be broken and won’t this season, as Braden Niksich, Hunter Clark and James Whiteman share the team lead in saves with two apiece. Joliet’s Jordan Miller leads the league with six. Enrique Zamora’s strikeout record of 55 will likely stand as no Oilmen pitcher has more than 34. Sam Geraci is 5-0, but still two wins away from Danny Britt’s franchise record of seven that has stood since the team’s inaugural season in 2012. Friday marks an opportunity to get back on track for Oilmen starting pitcher Clay Keltner, who was tagged for nine earned runs on 11 hits in three innings against Southland on July 16. Overall, he’s 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA, 14 walks and 26 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings spanning seven starts. He allowed nine earned runs in three innings after allowing five earned runs in his first 34 2/3 innings this season, beefing his ERA From 1.30 to 3.35.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds are coming off a 4-3 loss to Bloomington on Thursday night. DuPage County tied the game at three when Ryan Krob cracked a two-run homer to left in the top of the ninth, but the Bobcats captured the victory when Nick Brunson drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth. The Hounds are 3-5 over their last eight games. Krob had two hits on Wednesday and has hits in five straight. Billy Hayes went 0-for-4 on Thursday and is 2-for-17 (.118) over his last five games. John Dreveny also went 0-for-4 and is 1-for-19 (.053) over his last five. Joe Engel has back-to-back hitless games after a 17-game hitting streak.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen won the most recent meeting between the two teams 6-1 on July 15. This marks the penultimate regular season matchup, as the two squads face off once more on July 28. The Oilmen have won four of the first seven meetings and can clinch the head-to-head series over the Hounds for the second straight year with a win on Friday. DuPage County leads the all-time series 21-20.
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