06/16/2018 12:02 PM
DuPage County Hounds (12-1)
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (6-8)
June 16, 2018 • 6:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Andrew Hancock (Evansville / New Lenox, Ill.) vs. DuPage County RHP Jake Anderson (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Webster University)
When these two teams get together, there’s bound to be a little extra incentive regardless of where the clubs are in the standings. As the Oilmen get set to battle DuPage County in the latest incarnation of an old rivalry that date back to the first game in franchise history for both squads, they have all the incentive in the world as they try to slow down a team that’s been nearly unbeatable this season. The Hounds are riding high at 12-1 and have won six consecutive games for the second time this year. The only team to top DuPage County was Southland, which won 12-10 on June 6 at Hap Bruno Field. The Oilmen carry momentum into the game with them, having won back-to-back contests and four of their last five. NWI is seeking its first three-game winning streak of the season.
Inside the Oilmen
The Oilmen launched four home runs in the first three innings on the way to an 11-5 win over the Bloomington Bobcats on Friday at Oil City Stadium. Nate Montgomery’s home run was his third of the season, but Joliet’s Jeremiah Lebron also went deep on Friday, so the two men remain deadlocked for the league lead in long balls. Nick Figus racked up four hits against his former team including a home run, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He leads the MCL in batting average at .429. Figus and Montgomery’s home runs were back-to-back jacks, while Hunter Thorn and Cory Krolikowski later added big flies. All four Oilmen home runs were solo shots. Before Friday, the trio of Figus, Thorn and Krolikowski had combined for one home run in 601 MCL plate appearances. They combined for three long balls in one game on Friday. The only prior home run by that group was Thorn’s in his MCL debut way back on May 27, 2016 while playing for the Southland Vikings against the Michigan City Lakers. This year, Thorn had three hits in his first eight games of the season and had three on Friday alone in a breakout day at the dish. Andrew Hancock will make his first start with the Oilmen on Saturday. He has made one relief appearance and allowed five runs on five walks and six hits while striking out five in 3 1/3 innings against the Hounds on June 5.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds have been an offensive juggernaut this season as they have scored six runs or more in every game and have double-figure run outputs in eight of their first 13 contests. DuPage County holds a team batting average of .305 and has scored 133 runs in 13 games, an average of 10.2 runs per game. The second-highest team batting average in the league is Southland at .289 and the Oilmen are second in runs scored with 112 and have played one more game. The Hounds also lead the league in stolen bases with 37. Starting pitcher Jake Anderson is 2-0 over 13 innings in three games, two starts. He has not allowed an earned run (one unearned run) and just four hits while walking three and striking out 12.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen and Hounds are tied 28-28 in an evenly-matched all-time series that dates back to 2012. The two teams were scheduled to have already played four times, but three of them were rained out. The only meeting that has occurred saw the Hounds win 10-4 to spoil Opening Night at Oil City Stadium on June 5. DuPage County scored seven times in the top of the ninth inning to extend what had been a 3-2 lead to 10-2.
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