05/30/2017 9:58 AM -
JOLIET, Ill. – May 29, 2017 – Monday, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and Joliet Admirals met for the first time since the first round of the 2016 MCL Playoffs. The Oilmen jumped out to an early lead and Northwest Indiana took the game, 7-1.
The Oilmen got on the scoreboard first when they started off the second inning with four straight singles, capped off by a Noah Davis hit to left which scored Hunter Thorn and Donivan Williams and gave Northwest Indiana a 2-0 lead. A pair of RBI groundouts from Tyler Laux and Tyler Sroczynski added two more runs, and the Oilmen scored four in the second inning. It was the first time NWI had scored first this season.
“I don’t think yesterday [against the Hounds] we were under any pressure because we were behind early,” Coach Adam Enright said after the game. “The guys who have been around the last year or two, they see the guys who are on our roster and they see the guys who are new and here now, and they are getting pretty confident that we should win every day out.”
The Oilmen kept the pressure on throughout the game, scoring two more in the fourth after Alec Olund tripled to score Tyler Sroczynski and later scored on a Hunter Thorn sacrifice fly. Up 6-0, Northwest Indiana had a comfortable lead going into the middle innings.
On the mound, Blake Marks threw five scoreless innings in his first start with the Oilmen. The incoming junior at Lewis University settled in after letting the first two batters he faced get on base. He gave up four hits, striking out five and walking two.
“That first inning was really the only place where he had any issues with command,” Enright said. “[He was] pretty efficient; I had him at under 70 pitches in five innings… He missed a lot of barrels today. I don’t remember there being a whole lot of solid contact or contact that was not on the ground. That’s very encouraging for a first time out.”
Marks was relieved by Tyler Laux, who started the game as the designated hitter before coming in to pitch the last four innings for NWI. He gave up the Admirals’ only run of the day in the seventh and finished with four strikeouts to two walks.
The Admirals threatened to score throughout the game, but the Oilmen kept them from turning hits into runs. Joliet put runners in scoring position in six of its nine at-bats, but only scored the one run in the seventh. In total, the Admirals left 14 on base. NWI only outhit Joliet by a tally of 12-11.
“I thought the pitching was great,” Enright said. “Efficiency wise, we threw way more strikes and that’s what this league and this season is about, just making quality pitches in the zone early… I look at those 11 hits as something to not be proud of, but impressive because we only gave up one run. We were able to keep from walking guys and keep from making errors to put them in positions where those base hits that got through the infield and that were scattered throughout the game weren’t able to lead to any damage.”
The starters were the pitchers of record in the 7-1 win for the Oilmen. NWI’s Blake Marks improved to 1-0 with the win, while Luke Taggart fell to 0-1 after giving up six runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
The Oilmen have the day off Tuesday before traveling back to Lemont to face the DuPage County Hounds Wednesday. The Oilmen defeated the Hounds in their first matchup of the season on Sunday, 6-4.
To see the box score from today's game, click on "Download Attachment".