06/11/2017 7:20 PM -
The DuPage County Hounds had jumped out to a commanding lead in the MCL standings after starting the season 10-1, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen on June 1. Sunday, the Oilmen returned to DuPage County to face the Hounds again and won their third consecutive game in a 12-4 blowout.
The Hounds’ offense had been averaging over 10 runs per game going into Sunday’s matchup, but Oilmen starter Blake Marks didn’t let that intimidate him. Marks shut down the DuPage County lineup the first time through the order. He didn’t allow a hit in his first three innings of work; the only Hounds base-runner (Brandon Post) reached on an error and was later thrown out trying to steal third.
“All of his pitches are very heavy,” Coach Adam Enright said. “They have a lot of depth and a lot of downward movement late. He gets a lot of swings and misses because of it, and the contact he gives up are usually ground balls. He got a lot of ground balls today and our defense was very good today so that was refreshing. For the first time this year, his efficiency was great.”
The Oilmen offense would have struggled early as well if not for Zack Jones, who played his last game in an Oilmen uniform Sunday. Jones went out with a bang, hitting a solo home run in the second to score the first run of the game and later hitting a three-run homer to straight-away center which blew the lead open. Jones finished the day 3-4 with two home runs, four RBIs and four runs scored. He hopes to be selected in the 2017 MLB Draft which starts Monday.
“He is the story that I will use as I coach about making yourself into whatever you want to. He came to us from junior college as a sub-.300 hitter with very little power, and three years later he’s hitting close to .400 with nine home runs and Trinity [where Jones plays in college and Enright is an assistant coach] and is also a guy who will get a chance to play at the next level. You look at him in his freshman or sophomore year of college and you’d say the chances are slim to none. Today, he’s got a shot…The limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself. He saw an opportunity to take the limitations that were on him before off and see how far he can take himself as a baseball player, and he’s arrived.”
Jones was the star of the show, but the supporting cast of Oilmen hitters were impressive as well. Leading 6-3 in the late innings, NWI poured on five runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to put the final nails in the coffin. Amir Wright finished 4-6 with 2 RBIs, and Caleb Matthews pitched a scoreless ninth to close the game out.
Marks got the win for the Oilmen and improved to 1-0 on the season, while Hounds’ starter Charlie Wright fell to 0-1 after giving up six runs in five innings.
To see the box score from today's game, click on "Download Attachment".
The Oilmen are back on the field Tuesday at 11 am to face the Southland Vikings.