Big deficit too much for NWI
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent July 19, 2012 11:09PM
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28: Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox poses during Photo Day on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
WHITING — Many leads have fallen victim to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen this summer, but the Southland Vikings’ nine-run advantage held up in their 12-7 win over the Oilmen.
“We know that we’re never completely out of a game,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said. “And we knew that the Vikings bullpen hadn’t done a great job lately. But it just too much of a deficit this time.”
Lake Central product Cody Dykema gave the Oilmen an early 2-1 lead on his two-run single in the first inning. But the Oilmen offense went quiet for the next five innings, as Southland starter Jonathan Rosario held NWI to those two runs in his six innings of work.
Southland tied the game at two in the fourth inning and then took the lead with two more runs in the fifth. Then, in the sixth inning, they broke the game open.
The Vikings scored seven runs, with five of them being charged to Oilmen starter Josh Negele. Josh Stowe relieved Negele in the middle of the rally, allowing four of the eight Vikings hits that inning. Southland’s lead had been extended to 11-2.
“Obviously, Negele didn’t have his best stuff today,” Huisman said. “I think it was more of a focus issue than anything. He didn’t have the same intensity out there and he fell behind in the count a lot more than they usually does.”
NWI closed the gap in the seventh inning. With Rosario being pulled in favor of Southland reliever Ben Collesano, the Oilmen jumped on the Vikings right hander for four runs — three of them coming on a three-run homer by DH Bennett Oliver, his second of the season.
Southland responded with one run in the next inning to help take back some of the game’s momentum, and a double play turned by the Vikings in the Oilmen half of the eighth all but ended the comeback hope.