07/26/2018 10:16 AM
NWI Oilmen (23-18)
at DuPage County Hounds (30-12)
July 26, 2018 • 5 p.m. • Lemont, Ill.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Brendan Kelly (Purdue Northwest / Grandville, Mich.) vs. DuPage County LHP Zac Bianucci (Michigan State / Naperville, Ill.)
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen won their final regular season home game for the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time in seven years on Wednesday, batting around in two of the first three innings and scoring 11 times in the opening frame on their way to a 19-6 win over the Generals. A day that started with Jordan Baker lasting only 1/3 of an inning on the mound for Joliet and featured Chris Baker racking up three hits including two doubles ended with the Oilmen winning by a baker’s dozen. The 11-run frame equaled the most prosperous inning in Oilmen history, matching a record that was set on July 23, 2013 against the Rockford Foresters. Thursday will begin a stretch of four consecutive road games to round out the regular season, three of them against the Hounds at the Lemont Sports Complex.
Inside the Oilmen
With their win over Joliet on Wednesday, the Oilmen clinched both their seventh consecutive playoff berth and their seventh straight winning season. NWI has put together a winning team in every season it has been in existence. Jackson Dvorak has had quite the week, launching his first home run of the season on Monday before nailing down his first save of the year on Wednesday. Dvorak, normally a position player, saw action on the mound in the blowout win over the Generals and finished the game with three quality innings of relief. That was the fourth save of the year by an Oilmen pitcher as Dvorak is now tied for second on the team with Pedro Rodriguez. George Sherman leads the club with two saves. Nobody is touching the Oilmen record of 13 in a single season and 18 in a career set by Matt Pobereyko, who is currently pitching in Class High-A in the Mets organization. Brendan Kelly will make his sixth appearance of the season. He owns a 2.55 ERA and has struck out 11 while walking seven in 17 2/3 innings. Kelly (1-0) will make his fourth start of the season and first since June 29. He last saw action in MCL play on July 16, when he threw two innings of scoreless relief at DuPage County.
Inside the Hounds
For the third time in the last four games, a left-handed pitcher will start on the mound against the Oilmen. This time it’s Zac Bianucci, who has a 2.52 ERA in 39 1/3 innings while compiling a 3-1 record and walking 20 against 31 strikeouts. He allowed three runs, all unearned, in three innings against the Oilmen on Monday night at Oil City Stadium. He also started against the Oilmen on July 16 and went eight scoreless innings. The Hounds beat the Panthers 18-2 on Thursday, in the process clinching the MCL regular season title. DuPage County has won the MCL regular season crown in three of the last four years and four of the last six. The Hounds have won the regular season title four times – 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
About the Matchup
The Oilmen are 3-4 against DuPage County and the season series will ride on the three matchups this weekend, all taking place at the Lemont Sports Complex. The Oilmen visit the Hounds on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The all-time series is dead even at 31 wins apiece.
Click here to view full PDF Oilmen Game Notes.