06/30/2018 9:19 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 30, 2018 – A late surge by the Southland Vikings was extinguished as the Northwest Indiana Oilmen turned a nifty game-ending double play to secure their second consecutive win on Saturday night at Oil City Stadium.
The Oilmen sprinted out to a 5-0 lead through five innings and fended off a Vikings’ rally for a 5-4 victory.
The final play of the game saw pitcher George Sherman (Dominican / Skokie, Ill.) deflect the ball to shortstop Jake Plastiak (Wichita State / Tinley Park, Ill.), who flipped it with his glove to second baseman Eric Yachinich (Minnesota Duluth / Ashland, Wis.), whose relay to first ended the game.
“I was glad it was hit to Plastiak,” said Oilmen assistant coach Matt Vitulli, who filled in for manager Adam Enright on Saturday. “There’s nobody I’d rather have get the ball there. It was a good roll. It was very relieving to see that ball go to shortstop.”
Sherman nailed down his second save of the season after Southland had cut into the Oilmen cushion by scoring twice in the seventh and twice more in the eighth. Starting pitcher Alex Voss (Butler / South Bend, Ind.) turned in seven strong innings to gain the win and improve to 2-0. He did not issue any walks and gave up only two runs (one earned) on six hits while throwing 92 pitches. He was perfect through four and didn’t allow a run until the seventh.
“It was an incredible day for Voss,” Vitulli said. “He attacked the zone and got outs without walking anyone. He had a great day today. He just pounded the zone and threw strikes.”
The Oilmen grabbed an early lead when Hunter Thorn (Purdue Northwest / Portage, Ind.) cracked a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the first. They added an unearned run on the first of two doubles by Jackson Dvorak (Missouri St. Louis / New Lenox, Ill.) in the third to make it 3-0. Dvorak was involved in the next Oilmen run as well, this time scoring on a Plastiak single in the fifth, part of a two-run inning that extended the lead to five.
“Jackson is attacking early and he’s going after fastballs,” Vitulli said. “He looks a lot more comfortable than he did earlier in the season. He’s had a lot of great at-bats; a lot of times it just hasn’t fallen. He’s squared plenty of baseballs up, and it’s good to see a few of them land today. He’s swinging the bat really well.”