07/29/2016 7:53 PM -
Bloomington, Ill. – July 29, 2016 – At the game’s most climactic moment, Bloomington first baseman Jacob Gilhaus rose to the occasion.
With runners at second and third and two outs in the final at-bat for the Oilmen, Chase Dawson ripped a hot smash ticketed for the right-field corner, but Gilhaus laid out and made a miraculous catch to preserve a 3-2 Bloomington win.
The grab to retire Dawson was the second out of the inning, but Jordan Flint struck out a moment later to end the game. The ball off the bat of Dawson would have given the Oilmen the lead.
“That play changes the game,” Enright said. “If we score those two runs, we have (Sam) Geraci ready for the bottom of the inning leading by a run and you’ve got to feel pretty confident. It’s disappointing to lose the way we did.”
Gilhaus was playing in just his second game with the Bobcats and his first as a position player after he pitched five innings against the Lakers back on June 18. The win allowed Bloomington (19-22) to clinch the final playoff spot in the MCL.
The Oilmen (26-21) still control their own fate for the regular season league title because Joliet and DuPage split a doubleheader on Friday. The Oilmen are in third place, ½ game behind second-place Joliet and 2 ½ in rear of first-place DuPage. If the Oilmen go 4-0 over the final four games, they will win the regular season league title.
Richard Yelnick (Trinity Christian / New Lenox, Ill.) allowed three first-inning runs (one earned), but then did not yield further damage over his remaining five innings. Yelnick was hit with the loss to drop to 2-3.
“He wasn’t outstanding; he wasn’t as good as he has been in past outings this year,” Enright said. “The ball was up quite a bit, but he threw strikes like he usually does. That’s the name of the game in this league, get ahead and throw strikes. Keep hitters out of those fastball counts.”
The Oilmen scored in the fourth when Flint crossed the dish on a base-loaded walk by Sam Geraci (Illinois Springfield / Steger, Ill.). Geraci scored the first Oilmen run of the game in the third after reaching on an error as he scored on a single by Dawson (Valparaiso / Chesterton, Ind.).
The Oilmen managed just three hits in the game against the Bloomington pitching staff. Starter Nick Alvarado was lifted after allowing one run (unearned) on one hit over three innings. Kody Silverthorn (1-1) picked up the win after two scoreless innings in relief. Bubba Henry came on to nail down the save, wiggling out of a second-and-third, one-out jam.
The Oilmen nearly had the bases-loaded and no outs in their final at-bat, but Tyler Sroczynski was called out at first after laying down a bunt. Enright argued the call, but instead of bases loaded nobody out, the Oilmen settled for second-and-third and one away.
Garrett Shea smoked two doubles for the Bobcats, while Nick Mosele notched two hits. The Bobcats are finished with the regular season and will start the playoffs on the road on Tuesday at the No. 1 seed.
The Oilmen will play a doubleheader on Saturday against Southland beginning at 1 p.m. at Hap Bruno Field. The Oilmen need to win both to stay in contention for the No. 1 seed, while the games are now meaningless for the Vikings.