By: Brandon Vickrey
Whiting, Ind. – Aug. 8, 2020 – The Northwest Indiana Oilmen pitching staff has been the team’s greatest strength, but it experienced a brief hiccup on Saturday night at Oil City Stadium.
The team issued 16 walks in an 11-6 defeat to the MCL Minutemen that snapped a three-game winning streak and caused the Oilmen lead over second-place DuPage County to decrease to one game.
“You can’t win a baseball game when you walk 16 batters,” Oilmen manager Chris Cunningham said. “This is just another day, so we’ll have to come back tomorrow and play hard. I thought we swung the bats pretty well tonight, especially early in the game. We had some timely hits and didn’t come through when we needed to with guys on base. We’ve got to do more with guys in scoring position and two outs.”
Tyler Nelson (Indiana / Crown Point, Ind.) had one of his biggest offensive days yet, collecting four hits while hitting the ball hard throughout the day and driving in three. He started the scoring with an RBI single in the opening inning, then drilled a run-scoring double in the second to tie the game at two. Nelson’s base knock in the sixth helped the Oilmen draw within to one at 7-6. His four hits led five Oilmen players with multi-hit outputs.
“It was nice to see Tyler have a solid four-hit game and keep himself going,” Cunningham said. “He’s an even-keeled guy who goes about his business. He loves to play the game and plays it hard.”
Gabe Pulido (College of DuPage / Griffith, Ind.) came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single in the third to help the Oilmen pull ahead 4-2. The Minutemen regained the lead with four in the fourth and one more in the fifth, before the aforementioned Oilmen sixth inning that also featured a run-scoring double by Clay Thompson (Kankakee CC / Schererville, Ind.).
The Minutemen (11-19) scored four in the seventh to pull away, helping them notch their second victory in 10 meetings with the Oilmen (21-10).
The Oilmen will attempt to rebound as they host the Southland Vikings at 4:10 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available now on NWIOilmen.com, and you can catch the action with Brandon Vickrey and Andrew Fish on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.
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