Eight-Run Fourth Lifts Oilmen Past Panthers

By: Brandon Vickrey

Midlothian, Ill. – July 27, 2019 – When mistakes by the opposition created a quality scoring chance, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen took full advantage on Saturday afternoon.

The Oilmen exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning en route to a 13-2 rout of Crestwood.

“Our string of self-inflicted bad luck came to an end in that inning,” Oilmen manager Kevin Tyrrell said. “We could only not have the ball bounce our way in those scoring chances so often. We got better at being more selective as the game went on. Their pitcher wasn’t commanding the zone, but he was around the zone, and he was getting us to chase bad balls early. The second time through the lineup, our hitters started being a little bit more disciplined, and that’s how we got the big inning.”

The prosperous fourth was highlighted by the second home run of the season for Malik Peters (Northern Illinois / Calumet City, Ill.), who drilled a three-run bomb. The inning was aided by two Crestwood errors, so seven of the eight runs were unearned.

Brandon Petkoff (Texas A&M Corpus Christi / Frankfort, Ill.) led off the eight-run inning with a double, part of a three-hit performance that included two doubles and two runs scored. He also drew a bases loaded walk in the second to force home the first Oilmen run of the day and had an infield single to drive in a run for his second hit of the fourth inning.

“He made the adjustment before everybody else did today and did a nice job of letting the ball come to him,” Tyrrell said. “The velocity wasn’t what we were used to, and he did a nice job of adjusting to that and taking the ball the other way. He also had a two-strike battle where he put a difficult pitch in play for an infield single and it led to a run, extending an inning. It was good to see him heat up, and if we can all get hot right now and keep it going, I don’t think there’s a team in this league that we can’t beat.”

Michael Bolton (Purdue / Calumet City, Ill.) also turned in three hits for the Oilmen (18-15), who made their final visit to Crestwood (9-26) this season.

After the Oilmen grabbed the lead with two in the top of the second, the Panthers tied the game with a two-run homer by Tim Fauth in the bottom of the second, an inning that featured three hits including a homer and a triple. But the Oilmen regained the edge with help from a Crestwood error in the bottom of the third, then put the game out of reach with the prosperous fourth.

Mike Madura (Purdue Fort Wayne / Munster, Ind.) picked up the win by going seven innings and allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking none.

“I really liked the way Madura responded to giving up the two-run homer after we were up 2-0,” Tyrrell said. “It didn’t faze him at all. He kept throwing the ball in the strike zone and making them put the ball in play. That needs to be our philosophy as a pitching staff; we will outhit a team if we throw strikes. Mike did a great job of that today.”

The Oilmen will visit Southland for a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. at St. Rita High School. The games will play a significant role in a tight race for the MCL regular season title. Blake Toman and Will Trubshaw will have the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.



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