08/02/2018 9:48 PM
NWI Oilmen (0-0)
at DuPage County Hounds (0-0)
Aug. 3, 2018 • 5 p.m. CT • Lemont, Ill.
Broadcast: Oilmen Broadcasting Network (Facebook Live)
NWI RHP Alex Voss (Butler / South Bend, Ind.) vs. DuPage County LHP Alex Luka (Babson University / Downers Grove, Ill.)
The latest chapter in the Midwest Collegiate League’s most storied rivalry will be written this weekend as the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and DuPage County Hounds duke it out with the league title on the line. The Oilmen will attempt to secure their third league championship after previously winning the MCL title in 2012 and 2016. The 2012 title was a three-game sweep of DeKalb County, while 2016 pitted the Oilmen against the Hounds and necessitated the full three games. The Oilmen also reached the MCL Championship Series in 2013, falling to Southland. Tyler Kenjic ripped a three-run, go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium to help the Oilmen sweep the Southland Vikings in the opening round with a 7-5 win. The last time the Oilmen and Hounds squared off in the MCL Championship Series, the Oilmen went on the road to win Game 1 at the Lemont Sports Complex, a task they’ll look to repeat on Friday. The Oilmen have played 10 postseason series in their seven-year history, and in all 10 the winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series.
Inside the Oilmen
We may as well confirm what has become the MCL’s worst-kept secret: Adam Enright’s four-year run as the manager of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen will end after this weekend. Enright is set to step away to take a job as the head coach at Missouri Valley College. And the Oilmen would like nothing more than to send him out at champion. After missing the MCL Semifinal Series due to obligations at Missouri Valley, Enright will return to the dugout on Friday in Lemont. Enright and Hounds skipper Ben Caple have followed identical MCL paths as both were assistant coaches for their respective teams from 2012-2014 before being promoted to manager for the 2015 season. Enright will give the ball to incoming Butler freshman Alex Voss for Friday’s series opener. Voss did not face DuPage County at all during the regular season. He went 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA and struck out 21 while walking seven over 31 2/3 innings (seven games).
Inside the Hounds
The Oilmen’s route to the championship series was certainly dramatic, but DuPage County’s outdid NWI tenfold in terms of drama. The Hounds led Bloomington 8-0 through six innings in a decisive third game on Thursday, but the Bobcats scored 10 unanswered runs for a 10-8 lead. The Hounds got back-to-back jacks from Austin Tittle and Matt Collins to lead off the bottom of the ninth and tie the game at 10. The winning run scored on a two-out error that allowed the Hounds to walk off with an 11-10 victory. Alex Luka starts on the bump for the home team on Friday. He went 5-1 with a 4.13 ERA in the regular season, issuing nine walks while striking out 24 in 28 1/3 innings. He pitched twice against the Oilmen, combining to allow four runs over seven innings.
About the Matchup
This matchup has been taking place since the two teams faced off on Opening Day 2012, the first game in franchise history for both squads. The season series between the Oilmen and Hounds was a 4-4 deadlock, while the Oilmen hold a slight 32-31 lead in the all-time series.
Click here to view full Oilmen Game Notes.