07/16/2017 7:35 PM -
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen traveled to the Lemont High School Sports Complex Sunday for the first of two consecutive games with the first-place DuPage County Hounds. After a four-game win streak was snapped in Bloomington Saturday, the Oilmen bounced back with a solid 6-3 win over the MCL’s best team.
The Oilmen scored first in the third inning and never gave up that lead. The Oilmen loaded the bases before recording an out in the third, and later in the frame Chris Baker came through with a clutch single to give Northwest Indiana the first run of the game. Hunter Thorn, the next batter, grounded out and drove in Jackson Dvorak. The Oilmen added two more runs in the fourth when Chase Dawson doubled and scored both Blake Cleveland and Jackson Dvorak. The Oilmen led 4-0, but the Hounds wouldn’t go away easily.
Bo Hofstra was the biggest story of the day. He wouldn’t allow a Hound to reach scoring position until the sixth inning when DuPage County scored its first runs of the game. After Hofstra loaded the bases with nobody out, Tristan Welch singled to score Mitch Buban and Tyler Tesmond grounded into a fielder’s choice and brought home Billy Hayes. The Oilmen still led 4-2, and that was the only blemish on Hofstra’s day.
“He’s proven himself as a guy who’s going to get meaningful innings in the playoffs,” Coach Adam Enright said. “I don’t know if it’s worth using him as a starter. Maybe he’ll get a start, but maybe he’ll be back in the bullpen where we can use him for three innings or use him on back-to-back days in the eighth or ninth. It has yet to be seen.”
The Oilmen responded with two more runs in the top of the seventh. With two outs and runners on second and third, Noah Davis doubled to score Chase Dawson and Tyler Sroczynski. The Oilmen led 6-2 in the eighth, which proved to be too much for DuPage County to overcome.
“We just had guys stepping up in those spots where we needed hits,” Enright said. “We did a good job cashing runners in when we got guys on. It seemed like when we got something going in an inning we were able to score. They just didn’t have many innings where they got leadoff runners on.”
The Hounds scored a run in the bottom of the eighth, but couldn’t mount any more of a comeback. The Oilmen took the 6-3 win and brought themselves within two games of the first-place Hounds.
Bo Hofstra took the win after six innings. He gave up two runs, struck out four and walked two with just four hits allowed. Connor Rektorski took the loss for the Hounds. He gave up four runs in six innings, struck out one and walked three.
The Oilmen have Monday off before hosting the Hounds at Oil City Stadium Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.