07/13/2018 9:44 AM
DuPage County Hounds (24-10)
NWI Oilmen (20-16)
July 13, 2018 • 7:10 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Christian Howell (Trinity Christian / Aurora, Ill.) vs. DuPage County RHP Andrew Padilla (Webster / Burbank, Ill.)
The Oilmen and Hounds will begin a stretch of frequent face-offs on Friday night as the Oilmen have only 10 regular season games remaining on the schedule and six of them are against DuPage County. The first-place Hounds own a five-game lead over the Oilmen in the MCL standings, but this stretch could give the Oilmen an opportunity to make up ground. However, a Hound-heavy stretch makes for a challenging slate against a perennial MCL power. On Thursday night, the Oilmen pounded out 20 runs on 22 hits, tying a franchise record for single-game hits that had stood since Game 2 of the MCL Semifinal Series against the Lexington Snipes in 2013. Thursday was the 324th game in Oilmen history, and the Oilmen enjoyed their most lopsided win of all-time by downing the Vikings 20-3. The previous record for margin of victory was 16, reached three times.
Inside the Oilmen
Zaid Walker has been on a tear at the plate, as he’s racked up six multi-hit games in a row. The stretch started with back-to-back two-hit days, continued with consecutive three-hit outputs and most recently has featured four hits in each of the last two games. Walker is 18-for-25 (.720 AVG) during this six-game stretch. CJ Deshazer had a big offensive day on Thursday, racking up a season-high four hits. He has strung together consecutive multi-hit outputs, going 6-for-10 over the last two games after starting the season 7-for-42 (.167) in his first 13 contests. All-time Oilmen wins king Christian Howell will toe the rubber on Friday night. He has a 2.51 ERA and 4-1 record in 32 1/3 innings this season over six games and five starts. Howell is the team leader in innings pitched. He has racked up a team-high 37 strikeouts against 11 walks.
Inside the Hounds
The Hounds are 2 ½ games clear of second-place Southland and would like nothing more than to expand the cushion to three games entering the All-Star Break. They boast the league’s most prolific offense with a team batting average of .305. The league’s top two run producers both play for DuPage County with Dane Toppel leading the way with 33 RBIs and Kennedy Phillips not far behind with 31. Toppel is in the conversation for MCL MVP honors as he has driven in 33 runs and scored 31. DuPage also leads the league with 97 stolen bases, led by Danny Gleaves (17), Toppel (15) and Bren Faulk (12). Starting pitcher Andrew Padilla is 1-1 with one save in eight games, two starts. He has a 5.32 ERA and has racked up 21 strikeouts while issuing 18 walks. This will mark his first outing against the Oilmen.
About the Matchup
The Hounds have won three of the first four meetings between the two teams this season, but the season series will ride on the six matchups down the stretch. Friday’s game is a makeup of a prior rainout, as is Monday at DuPage County. The Hounds won the most recent meeting 13-5 on July 2 at Oil City Stadium. This is the fifth matchup between the two teams this season, and all five have occurred at Oil City Stadium.
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