05/31/2017 7:26 PM -
In the fourth game of the season, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen lost to the DuPage County Hounds, 16-8 in an offensive game which got out of hand early. The Hounds were on the attack out of the gates. DuPage County’s Tristan Welch led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run, and each of the next four Hounds got on base and later scored. After batting around, Welch capped off the Hounds’ first inning scoring with another home run, this time a grand slam, to give DuPage County an 8-0 lead after one.
It was not a good first start of the season for NWI’s Sam Geraci, who allowed 11 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Geraci couldn’t find the strike zone, hitting three Hound batters and walking one while also allowing eight hits.
“A lot of his pitches were flat,” Coach Adam Enright said. “They didn’t have a lot of depth to them and he wasn’t able to hide the bottom half of the ball from their hitters so they were able to get to the bottom half of the ball and hit it in the air. They were able to elevate line drives over the infield and get balls up into the wind and hit a couple of home runs.”
The problems didn’t stop there for the Oilmen pitching staff. After a solo home run from Donivan Williams put Northwest Indiana on the board in the second inning and Amir Wright drove home another with a sacrifice fly in the third, DuPage County got both runs back after Christian Howell gave up a pair in his first appearance of the season. After three innings, the Oilmen were down 13-2.
“We talked about a couple of mechanical things that’ll help [Geraci] get a little more depth and, hopefully, a lot more ground balls,” Enright said. “That’s not something I’m worried about or expect to happen with him or Christian Howell. Christian’s coming of off an illness. I limited him today and just want to ease him back after being out of commission.”
The Oilmen tried to start a comeback in the top of the fourth. Six consecutive Oilmen got on base and scored to cut the Hounds’ lead to five, led by a grand slam from Noah Davis. But DuPage County would score three more before the end of the sixth inning, and the Hounds carried their 16-8 lead to the end of the game.
“There were a bunch of bright spots offensively with Noah Davis hitting a grand slam and Donivan Williams getting a couple of hits early,” Enright said. “We had base runners in those last four innings but weren’t able to cash any in. That seals it. You want to get as close as you can in those last few innings to give yourself a chance late. We stranded a bunch of runners, and the gap was a little too big to really have a chance to close it in the ninth.”
Sam Geraci was given the loss, and he falls to 0-2 on the young season. The Hounds’ Connor Rekstorski picked up the win after giving up six earned runs in six innings, striking out three and walkling two. NWI is 2-2 on the season, while DuPage is 2-1.
The Oilmen are back on the road tomorrow to face the Bloomington Bobcats. Northwest Indiana lost the first meetings between the teams on Saturday, 1-0 in 10 innings.
To see the box score from today's game, click on "Download Attachment".