By: Brandon Vickrey
Lansing, Ill. – July 13, 2020 – After letting the opposition off the hook too often on Sunday afternoon, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen made sure there was no sense of déjà vu on Monday.
The team took full advantage of the opportunities it received from the MCL Minutemen, exploding for eight runs in the sixth to invoke the 10-run rule in an 11-1, seven-inning victory. Costa Sirounis (Indiana / Munster, Ind.) provided the blow that broke it open, cracking the second grand slam for the Oilmen in the first nine games of the season.
“It was a good, short swing,” Oilmen manager Chris Cunningham said. “He’s a big boy and put the barrel out with a nice, short swing and got a good outcome out of it.”
Sirounis finished with two hits to lead the way, his second consecutive multi-hit game.
“I fell behind early in the count, and the count evened up a little bit,” Sirounis said. “I was waiting for the opportunity, and he left it right over the plate, so I had to do some damage. In the middle of the week last week, I wasn’t feeling too hot, but now I’ve started getting more at-bats and I’m getting more comfortable in the box.”
The Oilmen (6-3) struck first in the top of the second when Clay Thompson (Schererville, Ind. / Kankakee) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but the Minutemen (1-7) tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. NWI took the lead for good with two in the third, then used the aid of seven walks during a sixth inning that saw 13 Oilmen came to the plate.
Mike Madura (Purdue Fort Wayne / Munster, Ind.) logged five strong innings of two-hit ball, limiting the Minutemen to one run while walking three and striking out five. He earned the victory for his first decision of the summer.
“I felt good,” Madura said. “I went out there and tried to throw strikes. The slider wasn’t really working, so I relied on my fastball and changeup a lot. That threw them off a little bit. I got a lot of swings and misses on the changeup. It’s always good to balance your fastball with a changeup. I think the changeup is one of the best pitches in the game, especially if you can command it.”
Isaiah Coupet (Ohio State / Flossmoor, Ill.) retired all six men he faced in relief, notching three strikeouts over the two innings.
“He’s been really good so far,” Cunningham said. “He’s a left-handed arm with an extremely effective breaking ball – a big-league breaking ball. We were happy to see him go out and use it well today.”
Minutemen starter Ryan Troxel (0-1) struck out seven over five plus innings but ran out of steam in the sixth and ultimately took the defeat.
The Oilmen are slated to return to the diamond on Tuesday against the DuPage County Hounds. Check back to the Oilmen social media platforms for any updates regarding that contest. Andrew Fish and Tom Gorski are scheduled to have the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.
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