By: Blake Toman
The Oilmen were able to jump to an early 5-0 lead, due in part to an incredible start from Jack Guzek (University of Iowa / Manhattan, Ill.) who struck out the first eight batters he faced. By the end of his six-inning outing, Guzek had almost tied fellow Oilmen Max Franklin’s record of 12 strikeouts in a single game, recording 11 while allowing only one run on six hits.
“Jack had an incredible performance today. I told the team if we could commit fewer than three errors in the first than we’d have a better chance to win the game and Jack struck out the side. I was tempted to have him go back in and pitch the seventh,” Oilmen manager Kevin Tyrrell said. “In light of every other pitchers’ performance, it really shows you how good he was tonight.”
Guzek was the outlier in a game that featured a combined 26 walks and five hit batters. Out of those 31 free passes, Guzek was responsible for just two. The Bloomington Bobcats’ pitching staff was responsible for 19 of those 26 walks and all five hit batters.
The Bobcats’ struggles on the mound helped the Oilmen have a big night offensively, with several Oilmen players, including Hunter Ryan (Purdue Northwest / Hebron, Ind.) and Mason Diaz (Northern Kentucky University / Valparaiso, Ind.), having big nights at the plate. Ryan went 2-3 and had an impressive 5 RBIs, three of those coming on a bases-clearing double in the first inning that helped the Oilmen get ahead early. Diaz also had two hits that gave him 3 RBIs, in addition to a solid game behind the plate.
“Hunter Ryan made an adjustment at the plate after last game,” Tyrrell said. “He was trying to stay flatter in his swing instead of trying to lift the ball and it definitely paid off for him this game.”
The game looked to be a blowout Oilmen win early on, with the Oilmen going up by ten runs at the end of the sixth inning. However, the Bobcats managed to make it a ballgame, scoring five runs in the seventh off Oilmen reliever Max Franklin (Heartland Community College / Chicago Heights, Ill.) and another four runs in the eighth off Anthony Hernandez (College of DuPage / Chicago, Ill).
Jonny Vesevick (College of DuPage / Wheaton, Ill.) would seal the deal for the Oilmen, striking out the side in the top of the ninth and giving manager Kevin Tyrrell his first ever MCL home win. Tyrrell coached the MCL’s Rockford Foresters in 2013, but the team played its entire schedule on the road.
“It’s my first home win in the MCL, and it felt really good,” Tyrrell said. “Today’s performance is definitely a step in the right direction.”
The Oilmen will look to build on this performance when they return to Hap Bruno field to take on the first place DuPage County Hounds on Thursday, June 13 at 5:00 p.m. Blake Toman and Brady Extin (filling in for Brandon Vickrey) will have the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network that can be accessed via Facebook Live.
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