Hammond, Ind. – June 20, 2022 – Runs were hard to come by on Monday evening at Dowling Park.
The Northwest Indiana Oilmen were shut out for the second time this season as a two-run bottom of the fifth for host Southland provided the extent of the game’s scoring in a 2-0 Viking victory.
Southland pitcher Max Everaert permitted just three hits over seven shutout innings while walking two and striking out eight. A fly ball double play helped the Vikings escape an Oilmen scoring chance in the first, then a leadoff double went to waste in the fifth. A one-out two-bagger by Chris Baker (Trinity Christian / South Holland, Ill.) provided a scoring chance in the eighth, but the Oilmen again came up empty handed on a day where they finished with four hits.
“We didn’t swing a whole lot until we got to two strikes, so that was tough to overcome,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “We’ve got to become more comfortable swinging at breaking balls early in the count. I think the word is out that that’s what teams have had success against us with. Sitting on off-speed and looking to hit it early in the count is probably what we need to move toward to have a little bit of success, and then we’ll start getting more hittable fastballs. If you keep us out of situations where you throw fastballs to us, you have a chance to keep us from scoring very many runs.”
The Oilmen (9-10) stayed in the game thanks to a solid start by Mike Schalasky (University of Indianapolis / Palos Heights, Ill.), who took the defeat after allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and one walk while striking out five. He was followed by Silas Noe (Waubonsee / Wilmette, Ill.), who twirled three scoreless innings in relief.
“Schalasky was really good,” Enright said. “He had command of three pitches. It was a pretty standard outing for him. Silas was good as well. This was the first time he commanded multiple pitches for strikes right out of the gate, which was really good to see. Hopefully he can build on that.”
NWI will be back in action on Wednesday for a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. at Lee Pfund Stadium in Carol Stream, Ill. Leo Staudacher and Adam Oppenheim will call that one on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network, which is available via Facebook Live.