By: Brandon Vickrey
Whiting, Ind. – July 12, 2020 – There was action on the base paths throughout the day for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, but the crooked number proved hard to come by and the single tallies too frequent on Sunday afternoon at Oil City Stadium.
The Oilmen scatted 14 hits but stranded 13 on base in a 9-6 loss to Joliet, a game that saw the Oilmen settle for single-run frames in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh. The Generals were aided by three first-inning errors en route to scoring two unearned runs and five walks in the fifth on their way to a four-run inning.
“Nobody could step up and get the big hit, and that’s the name of the game,” Oilmen manager Chris Cunningham said. “If you don’t get two-out hits with men in scoring position, you don’t win much. We hit into too many double plays, and didn’t execute. We have to get better at situational hitting. You can’t have success letting those chances get away.”
The Oilmen stranded six in scoring position in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings alone, including a second-and-third, one-out chance that went to waste in the eighth. Gabe Pulido (Griffith, Ind. / Griffith) was a bright spot, reaching base four times including a pair of run-scoring singles.
“Gabe is a barrel-finding hitter,” Cunningham said. “He’s got a good swing and he’s been steady behind the dish for us. That’s been good to see.”
Tyler Nelson (Indiana / Crown Point, Ind.) continued to hit at over a .500 clip, adding another multi-hit showing that included a double, stolen base and run scored.
Connor Oliver (Wabash Valley / Oak Park, Ill.) allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits over four frames, while Max Franklin (Chicago, Heights, Ill.) was charged with three runs after walking three of the four men he faced in the fifth to take the defeat in his first outing of the summer. Seth Quick (1-0) got the win for Joliet (2-5), while Jacob Newman nailed down his first save.
“Connor did what he had to do to give us four strong innings,” Cunningham said. “He got through a first inning where he threw a lot of pitches, and did his part.”
The Oilmen (5-3) will return to the diamond on Monday at 2 p.m. at Lansing Old Timer’s Field against the MCL Minutemen. The game will be streamed on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network via Facebook Live with Brandon Vickrey and Ryan Zimmerman on the call.
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