06/18/2017 9:12 PM -
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen traveled to Crestwood Sunday to visit the Panthers at Standard Bank Stadium. It was the first time the Oilmen had ever played on the field, and NWI split a doubleheader with Crestwood to move to 11-9 on the 2017 season. The Panthers won the first game 6-0, while the Oilmen took Game 2 by the same score, 6-0.
The first game of the twin bill was sloppy on the Oilmen side. Northwest Indiana made simple mistakes at the plate, in the field and on the base paths. The Oilmen only managed four hits on Panthers’ starter Nate Kurtz, who got the win after five innings of shutout work on the mound. After a loss which was one of the worst of the season for the Oilmen, Coach Adam Enright spent the majority of the break before Game 2 talking to his team about working to make sure the mistakes he saw in the first game didn’t become a trend and what the players need to do to make that hope a reality.
“They’re here to get out of here,” Enright said. “That’s the long and short of it. The reason they’re here, on this team and in this league, is to be better so they can move on to bigger and better things. Whether it’s playing and contributing more to their colleges in the spring, playing after college, playing somewhere else next summer, being here isn’t something that should be satisfying or they should be content with. So, making the same mistakes every day is frustrating, because all they’re here to do is get better. I couldn’t care less if we win or lose, but I care about them showing effort to change things they’re not good at… That’s all we talked about, getting out of your comfort zone if there’s something you’re bad at. Stop doing it the way you’re doing it because you’re not having success that way.”
Those words paid dividends right away, as the Oilmen didn’t commit a single error in the second game of the doubleheader after five straight games with at least two errors in the field. The Oilmen offense also started to come to life, as Amir Wright and Tyler Sroczynski both got on base and later scored on wild pitches from Mike Fuentes, Crestwood’s Game 2 starter.
Matt Garbacz took the mound for NWI in Game 2 and pitched another outstanding game to improve to 2-0 on the season. Garbacz went all seven innings of the game for the Oilmen, giving up just four hits and shutting out the Panthers.
“He’s been really good,” Enright said. “He’s a good pitcher. This is where he pitches in the spring, so I knew he would have a pretty comfortable outing since he plays here. It was nice that he got out here and did what he did because to finish the week we really needed that win. To finish the week 3-3 is serviceable and keeps us where we were and doesn’t drop us two games down back to .500.”
The Oilmen added four insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to blow the game open, and NWI took Game 2, 6-0. The winning pitcher in the first game was Crestwood’s Nate Kurtz, while NWI’s Hunter Clark took the loss. In Game 2, Matt Garbacz got the win and Mike Fuentes took the loss. The Oilmen are now 11-9 on the season and are back on the field Tuesday in Joliet to face the Admirals.
To see the box score from today's games, click on "Download Attachment".