The Region's Team Of Northwest Indiana


Game Notes: League title up for grabs on Sunday

08/07/2016 7:56 AM -

Northwest Indiana Oilmen (3-1)
at DuPage County Hounds (3-1)
*MCL Championship Series Game 3*

August 7, 2016 • 1 p.m. • Joliet, Ill.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB, 104.7 FM

Pitching Matchup
NWI’s Jordan Petty (Purdue Northwest / Highland, Ind.) vs. DuPage’s Peter Hamot (Lewis / Downers Grove, Ill.)

For Starters
The DuPage County Hounds forced a Game 3 in the MCL Championship Series by beating the Northwest Indiana Oilmen 5-3 on Saturday night at Oil City Stadium. The Hounds are looking to become the first team in league history to lose the first game of the MCL Finals and come back to win the series. The Oilmen have only gone to a Game 3 in a postseason series once in franchise history, a loss to Lexington to end the 2015 semifinals. The Oilmen fell to 1-20 when scoring five runs or fewer with Wednesday’s loss. This will mark the third time the Hounds have played in Game 3 of a playoff series. They notched victories on both prior occasions during the 2015 postseason. Since DuPage County’s field is unavailable on Sunday, the game will be played at a neutral site, Wayne L. King Junior Field, normally the home of the Joliet Admirals. This will mark the first time in Oilmen history the team has played a neutral site game. The Hounds will become the fourth different MCL team to play a home game at Wayne L. King Junior Field, joining the Admirals (2014-present), Illinois Lincolns (2012) and Will County CrackerJacks (2011). The Oilmen are seeking their first MCL title since 2012, while the Hounds are trying to make it back-to-back championships. Ben Caple and Adam Enright have each won one MCL title as an assistant coach, but both are seeking their first championship as a manager.

Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen are still led in postseason batting average by Jake Perreira, who is hitting .417. Chase Fieldhouse launched his first home run of the playoffs after going without a home run during the regular season, as his moon shot stayed fair down the left-field line to tie the game at three in the fourth on Saturday. Tyler Sroczynski is hitting just .211 in the postseason. He had three hits in Game 2 against Joliet, but is a combined 1-for-13 in the other three games. Stefano Belmonte and Tommy Szczasny are both 5-for-14 (.357) in postseason games. Belmonte has racked up five RBIs in 14 at-bats. Every Oilmen player has struck out at least once in the playoffs expect Fieldhouse. Jordan Petty will start on three days of rest on Sunday afternoon. The incoming Purdue Northwest freshman threw 97 pitches over five innings while allowing three runs on four hits and received no decision in Wednesday’s 14-6 victory over Joliet. Petty hopes to join Andy Wellwerts to form an exclusive group of Oilmen pitchers to get the win in a championship-clinching game. Petty started against the Hounds on July 15 and picked up the victory thanks to six innings of one-run, five-hit baseball. His only other appearance against them was an inning of scoreless relief on July 22. May 27 was the earliest Opening Day in Oilmen history. Aug. 7 will be the latest final game in Oilmen history.

Inside the Hounds
The Hounds inserted Matt Botcher into the lineup for Game 2 of the series after he did not appear in Game 1, and he had an immediate impact with three hits. Botcher also had two hits in his only other postseason game, Wednesday at Bloomington. Zach Girard (5-for-9) and Botcher share the team lead with a .556 postseason average. Peter Hamot will get the ball for his second postseason start after throwing 75 pitches over six shutout innings while yielding just three hits to earn the win on Tuesday against Bloomington. Hamot had the best ERA of any DuPage starting pitcher at 2.45 in 44 1/3 innings during the regular season. He went 3-1 and issued 14 walks against 38 strikeouts. Hamot faced the Oilmen only once and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings to receive no decision on June 24.

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