By: Blake Toman
Whiting, Ind, - June 29, 2019 - The Oilmen were unable to walk away with the win on Police and Fire Appreciation Night at Oil City Stadium, falling 3-0 to the Southland Vikings in what was a rare pitchers’ duel.
Jordan Petty (Purdue Northwest / Fort Collins, Colo.) made his 2019 Oilmen debut and went four and two-thirds innings. He recorded five strikeouts while allowing only five hits, one walk, and one run. The one run was unearned and came as a result of a throwing error on a routine ground ball in the third innings.
Making his pitching debut alongside Jordan Petty was Connor Oliver (Wichita State / Oak Forest, Ill.). Oliver pitched one inning in relief, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning.
“I would’ve kept Petty in longer, but he was on a pitch count in his first outing,” Oilmen manager Kevin Tyrrell said. “Between Petty, Oliver, and the rest of the pitching staff, we have a lot of arms to be excited about.”
Despite the valiant performance of the Oilmen pitching staff, Southland Vikings starter Justin Rios (North Central College / Lemont, Ill.) was able to stifle the Oilmen offense and give his team the win. Rios pitched eight shut-out innings, allowed only six hits, and struck out seven en route to his fourth win of the season.
“Rios made us hit his pitch. He got ahead in counts and made us swing,” Tyrrell said. “It was a change from the three position players we saw pitch with Crestwood. I tried to throw harder in batting practice, but you just can’t replicate Rios’ stuff in that setting.”
The Oilmen did come close to scoring a run several times in the game. Ben Berenda (Indiana University Southeast / Rensaleer, Ind.) was thrown out by Kyel Alexander (Moraine Valley Community College / Chicago, Ill.) at home plate in the bottom of the second inning as he was attempting to score on a Frank Napleton (St. Leo University / La Grange, Ill.) single. Clay Thompson (Oakland University / Schererville, Ind.) was also picked off first base in an inning where the Oilmen had runners on the corners after a one-out double by Napleton.
Returning Oilmen Brandon Petkoff (Texas A&M Corpus Christi / Frankfort, Ill.) had a solid night at the plate for the Oilmen, going 2-4 with a single in the bottom of the second and another single in the bottom of the second.
The Oilmen will look to go back above .500 on the season when they play a doubleheader against the Joliet Generals on Sunday, June 30 at Wayne L. King Field at Joliet Junior College. Sam Oppenheim and Blake Toman will have the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, accessible via Facebook Live.
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