By: Brandon Vickrey
Whiting, Ind. – Aug. 1, 2020 – Angelo Cantelo (Lewis / Blue Island, Ill.) accomplished a feat that no Northwest Indiana Oilmen player had reached before on Saturday night at Oil City Stadium.
Cantelo hit the first cycle in the nine-year history of the franchise, propelling the Oilmen to a 17-11, seven-inning victory over the MCL Minutemen on a rainy Saturday night at Oil City Stadium. The game was delayed and later deemed official in the top of the eighth due to rain and field conditions.
“It was one of the strangest feelings, because I’ve never done it in my life,” Cantelo said. “It’s a cool accomplishment. When I got here today, I definitely did not think I was going to hit for the cycle. It was one of those days where I was seeing the ball well, and that’s all you could ask for. This is something I’d never thought I’d do in my life. The starting pitcher (Nic Vitiritti) is one of my best friends, I’ve known him for years.”
Cantelo collected an RBI single in the first before launching a two-run homer in the third. He added the triple in the fourth before capping the rare feat with a two-run double in the sixth.
“There was almost no doubt I was going to wave him to third,” Oilmen manager Chris Cunningham said of the triple. “He hit that ball a long way and was busting hard out of the box. He plays hard, so it was nice to see him put four good swings on balls tonight.”
The Oilmen faced an early deficit as the Minutemen scored two in the first and six in the second to open up an 8-1 lead through an inning and a half. A six-run fourth inning for the Oilmen highlighted the comeback. Cantelo finished the day 4-for-5 with six RBIs.
Tyler Nelson (Indiana / Crown Point, Ind.) also threatened the cycle, clubbing a two-run homer to go along with a single, triple, hit by pitch and four runs scored. Oilmen ace Jack Guzek (Iowa / Midlothian, Ill.) lasted just three innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits while receiving no decision on a wacky night in Whiting.
Luke Pappas (Western Michigan / Chicago, Ill.) came on in relief and worked three innings while yielding three runs on one hit to earn the victory, his first decision of the summer. Costa Sirounis (Indiana / Munster, Ind.) worked a scoreless seventh.
“It was a tough day to pitch and keep your footing, but our guys had to battle and find a way to get outs,” Cunningham said. “Pappas had a rough start, but he found it and gave us three quality innings after Guzek didn’t have his best stuff.”
The Oilmen (18-7) hold the best record through 25 games in franchise history, own a season-long five-game winning streak and remain ½ game ahead of DuPage County for first place in the Midwest Collegiate League standings.
The team will welcome Crestwood at 4:10 p.m. on Sunday to close out the homestand. Tickets are available on NWIOilmen.com, and those who cannot attend can tune to Brandon Vickrey and Andrew Fish on the call on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.
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