Oilmen halt six-game losing skid with doubleheader split over DeKalb County
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent July 2, 2012 11:35PM
The Oilmen's Chris Rudenga follow through on a grounder to second in the seventh inning Monday evening against the DeKalb County Liners in Whiting. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
WHITING — Halfway through Monday’s doubleheader, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen were on a 6-game losing streak. But by the night’s end, that losing skid was history, as the Oilmen split a pair of contests against the DeKalb County Liners.
In the first game of the night, the Oilmen (15-9) appeared to be orchestrating another comeback. After falling behind 7-3 in the fourth inning, the Oilmen battled back in the fifth. John Livingston hit a two-run single, Billy Miller had an RBI groundout and Craig Austgen added another RBI single—completing a four-run fifth inning that tied the game at seven.
But in the sixth, DeKalb’s (13-10) Charlie Dennehy two-run shot to left field—which broke his bat on contact—provided the winning runs in a 9-7 DeKalb victory.
“He really squared it up and there’s a short porch here in left field. It got out in a hurry,” said Huisman. “Right now, we’re giving up runs after we score, which is not a good thing to do.”
The nightcap was a pitcher’s duel between DeKalb’s David Deliz and NWI’s Danny Britt. The Oilmen struck first in the fifth inning on a squeeze bunt from Tyler Hansen that scored Chris Rudenga. DeKalb responded with an unearned run in the top of the sixth.
Deliz walked Billy Miller to lead off the seventh, a mistake that cost him the game. Four batters later, Austgen lifted a fly ball to right field that was just deep enough to score Miller from third, giving the Oilmen a 2-1 victory.
“First and foremost, it starts with pitching, and Danny gave us an outstanding outing,” said Huisman. “You couldn’t really ask for more.”
“We really needed this one; we had to get the job done,” said Britt (4-1), who gave up four hits and two walks while striking out six in a complete-game victory. “The defense played well behind me and my job was just to throw strikes.”