SYCAMORE – A ninth-inning meltdown put the DeKalb County Liners one game from elimination.
Kyle Wood’s ninth-inning RBI single to score Jack Cinoman broke a tie and was just the start of a big inning that gave the Northwest Indiana Oilmen a 12-6 win Friday night at Sycamore Park against the DeKalb County Liners and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Midwest Collegiate League championship series.
The Oilmen poured it on in the ninth against Liners reliever Brent Mueller. After Wood’s single, Billy Miller drew a bases-loaded walk, and back-to-back RBI singles with the bases loaded broke the game wide open. Kevin Franchetti’s RBI sacrifice fly made it a five-run frame and Mueller was pulled for Nick Kostalek. Northwest Indiana ended up scoring seven runs in the ninth.
Josh Stowe closed out the ninth despite giving up an RBI double to Liners first baseman Joey Burney to give the Oilmen the victory.
Game 2 is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. tonight at Northwest Indiana. If Game 3 is necessary, it will take place at 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Sycamore Park.
Northwest Indiana started with a bang on a two-out solo home run deep to right-center field by Bennett Oliver to give Northwest Indiana a quick 1-0 lead.
In the third, Burney made a diving stop to his right and threw to starting pitcher David Deliz to get Oliver at first and prevent a run from scoring.
DeKalb County tied it up on an RBI groundout by Brent Turner that scored Tyler Hamby. Hamby led off the third with a single and a stolen base to put himself in scoring position, and Markus Duckworth’s single moved Hamby to third.
Northwest Indiana was upset with a call on a play at third on a relay throw that appeared to beat Charlie Dennehey on a Demetre Taylor single, but Dennehey was ruled safe. The Liners took full advantage when Justin Abbott hit an RBI groundout to score Dennehey and give the Liners a 2-1 lead. Jared Tomany added another RBI groundout to the right side to give DeKalb County another run.
But Deliz lost control in top half of the fifth, walking four batters, including one with the bases loaded, to cut the Liners’ lead to one. Cody Dykema added a two-run double to take a 4-3 lead. Kyle Wood’s sacrifice fly scored Oliver to give the Oilmen an insurance run. The Oilmen scored four runs on just two hits.
Taylor made it a 5-4 game with an RBI single in the fifth to score Turner. Justin Abbott tied the game at 5 in the ensuing at-bat with an RBI single to plate Dennehey.