Oilmen offense lights up Southland in final home game
Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent July 26, 2012 11:22PM
Updated: August 28, 2012 6:23AM
WHITING — In their final home game of the regular season, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen gave their fans all the offense they could handle in a 16-4 drubbing of the Southland Vikings.
The win snapped the Oilmen’s three-game losing skid against the Vikings. Leading 3-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Oilmen broke the game open by batting around in both the sixth and seventh innings, scoring a total of 13 runs.
“It was a good ball game for a while,” said Oilmen manager Justin Huisman. “But we put those big innings together and got their pitchers a bit flustered.”
A two-run double by Elliot Bajda and a towering two-run homer over the Brick Monster in left field by John Livingston highlighted a five-run rally in the sixth inning.
“I’d been struggling at the plate, so, at first, I was tried to get down a bunt and move the runner over,” said Livingston, a Highland graduate. “But when I got ahead in the count, I started looking for a fastball middle-in and he put it right there for me.”
It only got better for the Oilmen in the seventh, when they sent 14 batters to the plate and scored eight more runs. Billy Miller drove in a pair of runs on a single through the right side, but the rally was largely aided by Southland’s pitchers, who issued four walks — two with the bases loaded — and hit a batter to keep the runners moving.
Lost in the Oilmen’s offensive explosion was yet another quality outing from NWI starter Danny Britt, who improved his record to 7-1. Britt went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks while registering three strikeouts.
With only three games remaining in the regular season, the Oilmen’s win kept them a game ahead of the second-place DeKalb County Liners, who also won on Thursday night.