Jeffrey D. Nicholls/Post-Tribune Post-Tribune sports writer Steve Gorches
Updated: July 30, 2013 8:52AM
WHITING — Maybe Mother Nature has a target on Oil City Stadium.
While the Northwest Indiana Oilmen still hold the spot atop the MCL standings, the weather has not cooperated for the club, with two games this week being postponed — including Friday night’s contest against the Rockford Foresters.
“We were watching the radar. It came from the southwest, was heading towards U.S. Cellular Field, but then it turned and came right at us. The wind changed; everything changed,” said Oilmen GM Jim Taipalus. “I’ve never seen weather like this before.”
While the White Sox and Cleveland Indians were able to finish the first game of their doubleheader under dry conditions 15 miles away, the Oilmen and Foresters hadn’t made it out of the top half of the first inning before the rains came.
“This summer has been worse than any summer that I can remember having since being in baseball,” said Oilmen GM Jim Taipalus. “It’s frustrating for the fans, players and the staff.”
Friday’s rainout came one night after the Oilmen started a rain-delayed game at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, not wanting to turn away a sellout crowd on Thirsty Thursday — one of the Oilmen’s most popular promotions.
“It took a few hours but we were excited to get it in,” Taipalus said. “That was one of our biggest nights this year. You just want to make sure that you play as many games as you can.”
The inclement weather has forced the Oilmen to alter their schedule, which now includes a July 23 doubleheader with the Foresters to make up for a cancellation from earlier in the season. The makeup date for Friday’s game is to be determined.
“At this point we’re going to try and get every game in, even if we have to schedule doubleheaders,” said Taipalus. “It’s just a matter of looking at the schedule and seeing where we can fit it in.”
Taipalus paused, laughed, then added: “And pray that it doesn’t rain.”