06/13/2017 8:36 PM -
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen had a day off Monday, but that didn’t stop them from continuing their momentum from the weekend and winning their fourth straight game Tuesday afternoon over the Southland Vikings. It was the first time the Oilmen had beaten the Vikings this season after Southland took the first three meetings between the teams.
Once again, the Oilmen jumped out to an early lead at Oil City Stadium. Blake Cleveland drove in Dashon Moore for the first run of the day in the bottom of the first, and Noah Davis walked with the bases loaded to bring in Alec Olund. A sacrifice fly from Carter Naughton brought Hunter Thorn home, and the Oilmen ended the first up 3-0.
The Oilmen’s starting pitcher – Max Franklin – picked up another win and improved to 3-0 on the season. After striking out 12 in his last appearance, he gave up two runs in six innings and struck out just five in six innings on the mound. Franklin walked five as well, but was able to work out of situations with runners on base throughout the game.
“That’s the sign of a good pitcher,” Coach Adam Enright said. “When things don’t feel right or your best stuff’s not there, to go out to compete and give yourself a chance to win and keep your team in the game the whole time you’re out there. That’s what good pitchers do. Good pitchers don’t have their A+ stuff every time out.”
The Oilmen kept scoring. NWI put two runs across in the third and four in the fourth. The Vikings tried to spark their offense with two runs in the seventh off Oilmen reliever Sam Geraci, but the comeback started far too late. NWI added two more runs in the eighth to make it 11-4, and the score would stay there until the end of the game.
“We had a bunch of really good hits,” Enright said. “The games that we’ve lost, that’s the story – not having those good at bats with runners in scoring position. Today, we hit a lot of line drives and there was a lot of good contact when those runners were on base. That’s how you win ballgames.”
The Oilmen scored 11 runs in the game and left only seven runners on base to win their fourth straight game and improve to 9-7. The Vikings fell to 7-5 with the loss. Max Franklin won the game and improved to 3-0 on the season. Vikings’ starter Hunter Kraynak took the loss and fell to 2-1.
The Oilmen are back on the field tomorrow at 7 p.m. Wednesday to face the DuPage County Hounds.
To see the box score from today's game, click on "Download Attachment".