07/07/2018 12:49 PM
Joliet Generals (9-15)
at NWI Oilmen (17-13)
July 7, 2018 • 6:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Christian Howell (Trinity Christian / Aurora, Ill.) vs. Joliet RHP Ryan Czajowski (Moraine Valley CC / Oak Lawn, Ill.)
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen will look to sustain the momentum they started on Friday night with a dramatic 4-3 victory over Southland that snapped a three-game losing streak. Facing a 3-1 deficit in the seventh, the Oilmen scored single runs in each of the final three innings, culminating with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth by Chris Baker. Cory Krolikowski ripped his second home run of the season in the seventh inning before Nick Figus belted his second in the eighth to tie the game at three. Figus and Baker were the stars of the night, as Figus roped an RBI triple to go along with his homer, and Baker cut a runner down trying to score with an outfield assist to preserve a 1-0 lead long before ending the night with his clutch base hit. The win allowed the Oilmen to bump their record to 5-0 in one-run games this season.
Inside the Oilmen
Nine Oilmen were named to the Midwest Collegiate League East All-Star team on Saturday – four pitchers and five position players. Seven will be making their first appearance in the annual mid-summer showcase, while Nick Figus and Christian Howell have each garnered their second MCL All-Star selection. The Oilmen slugged two more home runs on Friday, lifting their team total to 16. The 2018 Oilmen are already in sole possession of second place in franchise history for team home runs in a single season. The next time an Oilmen player homers, it will tie the record established in 2015. The Oilmen will turn to Howell, already the team’s all-time wins leader with 14 in his four-year career, against the Generals on Saturday. He is 4-0 for the season with a 1.75 ERA and has earned the win in every game he’s started this summer. The Oilmen ace has struck out 32 and walked eight over 25 2/3 innings. He’s logged 160 2/3 innings in his Oilmen career, by far the most by any pitcher in franchise history. Howell was named the MCL Pitcher of the Week after beating the Generals with six shutout innings of three-hit ball on Sunday, July 1.
Inside the Generals
Joliet will also have an All-Star pitcher on the mound on Saturday night, as Ryan Czajowski was named to the West squad for next week’s game. Czajowski owns a sparkling 1.59 ERA in five outings, four starts. He has walked 14 and struck out 19 in 28 1/3 innings and holds a 1-1 mark. The right-hander pitched four shutout innings against the Oilmen on Sunday, July 1. He has only given up an earned run in one of his five outings (five on June 27 vs. DuPage County). The Generals are led by one of the league’s most impressive hitters in Jeremiah Lebron, who is hitting .351 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 22 games. Joliet’s other All-Stars are Ranko Stevanovic, Bryce Cross, Jack Kraus, Carter Lawler and Alex Herbst.
About the Matchup
This marks the first season of Joliet Generals baseball. After the Oilmen dropped each of the first two meetings, they’ve won four consecutive head-to-head showdowns. Most recently, the Oilmen rode quality starting pitching to a 3-2 and 5-2 doubleheader sweep of Joliet on Sunday, July 1. The two teams will play again on Tuesday, July 10 at Joliet, before the Oilmen host the Generals for the final meeting of the year between the two teams on July 25.
Click here to view full Oilmen game notes.