Oilmen gearing up for playoffs
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent July 24, 2013 11:04PM
Updated: August 26, 2013 4:31PM
WHITING — It’s down to the final week of the regular season for the NWI Oilmen, who were in action on Wednesday night in another exhibition matchup with the Michigan City Lakers.
The Oilmen currently sit in second place in the MCL standings, two games behind the league-leading DuPage County Hounds with only three Oilmen games remaining in the season — including one against the Hounds.
NWI dropped Wednesday night’s game 4-2 to the Lakers, but the game had the silver lining of allowing Oilmen manager Justin Huisman to set up his pitching rotation for the postseason.
“It was big for Danny more than anything else. It obviously didn’t end the way he wanted to; I’m sure he wants that one pitch back,” said Huisman, referring to the seventh-inning pitch that resulted in a three-run home run for Lakers hitter Greg Fadell — a Washington Township product. “But he threw a great ballgame for us. You have to score more runs than that.”
Pobereyko lasted seven innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and one walk. He was relieved by Kenny Mahala in the eighth inning, a player who has been used exclusively as an infielder this season. But the Andrean product hurled two scoreless innings of relief, helping rest some arms in the Oilmen bullpen.
“That was the main thing about today. We accomplished what we wanted to do, which was rest some guys,” said Huisman. “I think we’ll be much more rested than some other teams.”
With a game remaining against the first-place Hounds, the Oilmen still have a chance to gain home field advantage in the postseason.
“I think it’s always important, but mainly because we play well here,” Huisman said after Tuesday night’s doubleheader sweep of Rockford. “Being that there are a lot of close ball games, we feel like we always have a shot. That and, sitting in a van for a couple of hours and then go play a game is not a fun thing to do.”
The Oilmen’s final home game of the regular season will be tonight against the Rockford Foresters, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:10.