Oilmen win again at home
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent June 16, 2012 11:12PM
WHITING — Solid pitching and a few well-timed double plays helped the Northwest Indiana Oilmen to a 5-3 victory over the DuPage County Hounds.
“We didn’t make all of the plays tonight; I think both teams were a little sloppy,” said Oilmen (11-3) manager Justin Huisman. “But we did enough to take the win.
Kale Popp (2-0) started for the Oilmen, earning his second straight victory by going 6 1/3 innings, and giving up two runs-one unearned—on four hits and five walks. He gave way to reliever Jim Hinkleman, who allowed one unearned run in the final 22/3 innings to pick up the save.
Popp said his fastball was his best pitch of the night.
“My two-seam fastball ... I was just hitting a lot of corners with it,” he said.
In the seventh inning, a pair of walks from Popp ended his day, sending Hinkleman to the mound with two runners already on base. A walk loaded the bases before Hinkleman induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the innings and escape the jam.
As an encore in the ninth inning, Hinkleman quickly erased a leadoff walk by forcing the Hounds’ No. 9 hitter, Joey White, to hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
“Those two double plays were huge, but we really needed that one he got with the bases loaded,” said Huisman. “That took a lot of pressure off of us.”
On offense, the Oilmen were led by Bennett Oliver’s 2-for-4 performance, which included two doubles and two runs scored.
After the bases-clearing double play in the top half of the seventh inning, Kevin Franchetti and Brandon Krieg each reached base with hits and later scored to add to the Oilmen lead.
“We’ve had some tough days to hit, with that wind blowing in at about 30 MPH,” Huisman said. “You had to hit line drives and ground balls today, and we did that just enough.”