07/16/2017 10:04 AM -
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen had won four straight games coming out of the All-Star break before Saturday’s game in Bloomington. The Oilmen traveled to face the Bobcats (who were just one game behind NWI coming in) and took a hard-fought loss, 3-2 to Bloomington.
Early on, it looked as if the Oilmen were headed toward their fifth straight win. Northwest Indiana scored a run in the first after Chase Dawson doubled and came in to score on an error. In the third, the Oilmen put on another when Jack Ciombor reached on an error and later scored on another. Bloomington had four errors in the game, and neither of the Oilmen’s runs were earned.
With a 2-0 lead and Oilmen starter Richard Yelnick dealing on the mound early, the Bobcats’ bats didn’t respond until the fourth inning. Three straight singles loaded the bases with nobody out. Then, a sacrifice fly from Peyton Dillingham and fielder’s choice by Ryan Bouwman each scored runs to tie the game. The Oilmen and Bobcats had a new ballgame going into the fifth.
Bloomington starter Dalton Hottle allowed Oilmen to reach scoring position in three of the first four innings of the game, but wouldn’t allow another hit after that. He threw six shutout innings to end his complete game, and finished with seven strikeouts to just two walks. He gave up two hits and two unearned runs on 118 pitches.
The Bobcats broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh. Yelnick gave up a pair of singles to start the inning and put runners on first and third. Geno Cavalieri brought the go-ahead run home in the next at-bat wich a fielder’s choice, and the Bobcats led 3-2.
The Oilmen did have a chance in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Hottle walked Chris Baker to start the inning, and in the next at-bat tried to steal second. The throw from home hit Baker’s leg and got away from Bobcat shortstop Nick Figus, and Baker tried to take third. Figue got back to the ball quickly, though, and threw Baker out at third base. Instead of having a runner on second and nobody out, the Oilmen had nobody on and just two outs left to score a run. The next two Oilmen were sent down, and the game was over.
Dalton Hottle got the win in the game, while Richard Yelnick took the loss. The Oilmen are now 23-14 on the season; Bloomington is 22-13.