Oilmen squander opportunities in loss to Rockford
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent July 3, 2012 11:00PM
Updated: August 5, 2012 6:45AM
WHITING — Missed offensive opportunities were the Northwest Indiana Oilmen’s downfall in a 5-3 loss to the Rockford Foresters.
“We threatened in a bunch of innings but we just didn’t come through,” said Oilmen (15-10) manager Justin Huisman. “Anytime you let a team hang around like that, it’s going to come back to bite.”
Rockford (6-18) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Mark Goldsmith drew a one-walk and later scored. But NWI starter Kale Popp kept the Foresters scoreless for the next five innings, allowing the Oilmen offense to get started. Popp went eight innings for the Oilmen, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven.
“He pitched well enough to win,” Huisman said. “Anytime your starter goes eight innings and only gives up three runs, he should expect to win.”
NWI first got on the board in the third inning on Bennett Oliver’s sacrifice fly that scored Jack Cinoman, who had walked.
Cinoman scored his second run of the game in the fifth, after leading off that inning with a double. He came around on Craig Austgen’s single to left for a 2-1 NWI lead. But a chance for a bigger inning was thwarted when Kevin Franchetti was thrown out at home after a wild pitch.
In the eighth, a pair of walks put runners on first and second with just one out and Cinoman facing a full count. Both runners took off on the pitch, as Cinoman popped up to left field. Billy Miller left from second base and did not pick up the fly ball, which was caught in left field and then thrown to second base for an inning-ending double play.
“We had plenty of situations where we just didn’t get it done,” Huisman said.
Rockford added one run each in the seventh and eighth innings and two more in the ninth to complete the comeback victory.