07/19/2017 8:33 AM -
After taking a win on the road against the Hounds Sunday to move within two games of DuPage County for first place in the MCL, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen picked up another W against the league leaders Tuesday at home.
Both offenses struggled before the Oilmen struck first in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and third with one out, Chris Baker laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Chase Dawson and Northwest Indiana took a 1-0 lead. In the fifth, Tyler Sroczynski hit a sacrifice fly which drove in Will Kulcher and put the Oilmen up two.
The Oilmen only put together six hits on the day; Northwest Indiana’s pitching is what won it the game. Starter Blake Marks and Matt Garbacz tag teamed for eight innings of outstanding work on the mound. Marks threw four shutout innings to start the game. He gave up five hits and struck out three Hounds while walking just one. Garbacz threw the next four and gave up just one run in the eighth. He sent down six DuPage batters on strikes and didn’t walk any, allowing just three hits.
“I don’t want to jinx anything, but if you look at our pitching staff up and down in a best-of-three series there’s going to be a very deep bullpen,” Coach Adam Enright said after the game. “That’s something we really haven’t had the last few years… This year, you’re going to have guys like Garbacz coming out of the pen, Hofstra coming out of the pen, Graziano coming out of the pen. Yelnick out of the pen, Gard, Matthews and Geraci. There’s lots of options. If starters can get us through four or five in the playoff week with a lead, we should be in pretty good shape.”
The biggest play of the game came in the bottom of the seventh. Up 2-0, the Oilmen had the bases loaded with two outs. Hunter Thorn hit an easy pop-up to Hounds’ reliever Marko Boricich. Boricich camped under the ball and almost got out of the inning without any Oilmen runs, but instead lost track of it on the way down. The ball fell to the infield and two Oilmen scored. Northwest Indiana scored another in that inning, and three unearned runs in the seventh gave the Oilmen a 5-0 lead DuPage County couldn’t overcome.
The Hounds put up one run on Garbacz in the eighth, but the late-inning comeback fell short. The Oilmen won, 5-1. Matt Garbacz took the win on the day for the Oilmen, while Hounds’ starter Cameron Zunkel was saddled with the loss. The Hounds outhit the Oilmen nine to six, but four errors in the field for DuPage County helped NWI pull away. The Oilmen are now just one game behind the Hounds for first place in the Midwest Colleigiate League.
The Oilmen are on the road Wednesday to take on the Bloomington Bobcats at Illinois Wesleyan University at 6:30 p.m.