Vikings to Face Oilmen in Home Opener

By: Brandon Vickrey

Northwest Indiana Oilmen (2-2)
at Southland Vikings (2-1)

June 3, 2014 • 7 p.m. (CT) • Flossmoor, Ill.
Radio: None

For Starters
Sunday’s game in Lexington is one that the Oilmen are hoping to quickly forget, a 17-5 loss that entered the record books for all the wrong reasons. This marked the most lopsided loss in the three-year history of the Oilmen and the first time the team had ever fallen by double digits. Previously, the most one-sided defeat in Oilmen history was a 13-4 loss to Southland on July 22, 2012. The Oilmen also allowed the most runs in a game in franchise history by giving up 17 on Sunday. Previously, the most runs scored against NWI in a single game was 14 in a 14-13 loss to Will County on June 27, 2012. The Southland Vikings are also looking to bounce back after dropping Sunday’s game 6-5 at DuPage.

Inside the Oilmen
Through two appearances, Oilmen pitcher Scott Jerge has accomplished a feat that he did not reach during his time with NWI last summer. The Valparaiso University right-hander has put together back-to-back scoreless appearances. Jerge worked two shutout frames against Joliet on Friday before providing the bright spot of the Oilmen pitching staff with 2 2/3 scoreless innings on Sunday. Jack Czeszewski has already swiped four bases this season after setting the single-season franchise record with 30 steals a year ago.

Inside the Vikings
The defending league champions are playing in their home opener tonight and are in the midst of starting the year with nine of their first 11 games on the road.  The Vikings have won their home opener three straight years, defeating Will County 10-0 in 2011, edging Chicago 7-6 in 2012 and topping the Zephyrs 8-7 in 2013. The Vikings have the core of their league championship team back including key pitchers Aaron Hauge (Southern Illinois), Brandon White (Hill Community College) and Chris Chigas (Phoenix College). The Southland offense features Indiana University’s Chris Sujka, former Oilman John Livingston and Lake Central graduate Chase Fieldhouse.

About the Matchup
The Oilmen are making their first trip of the season to Homewood-Flossmoor High School, the site where they saw their season come to a close in Game 2 of the 2013 MCL Championship Series.  The ballpark has not been kind to Oilmen as they hold an all-time record of 1-6 (.143 winning percentage) in Flossmoor, their worst record at any MCL stadium. The Oilmen and Vikings were scheduled to meet on opening night at Oil City Stadium, but inclement weather forced the postponed of that contest. The Vikings are the only Midwest Collegiate League foe that has a record above .500 in the all-time series against the Oilmen. Northwest Indiana is 10-12 all-time against Southland.

Around the Midwest Collegiate League
The DuPage County Hounds are off to a 3-0 start for the second consecutive year. With a win on Tuesday night at Chicago, the Hounds can match their four-game winning streak that started the 2013 season. Conversely, the Zephyrs are off to an 0-4 start for the second straight year. Chicago dropped its first six games in both 2011 and 2013.

Click "download attachment" to view a full PDF of Vikings Game Notes.

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