Hounds Edge Oilmen, Win 2020 MCL Title

By: Brandon Vickrey

Whiting, Ind. – Aug. 17, 2020 – An offensive showcase for one inning turned into a pitchers’ duel for the other eight on Monday night at Oil City Stadium.

When the dust settled from a climactic third game in the best-of-three Midwest Collegiate League Championship Series, it was the DuPage County Hounds holding the trophy after a 5-3 victory that saw all of the scoring occur in the opening inning.

The Hounds jumped on the board with a five spot in the first against Oilmen hurler Tommy Windt (South Suburban / Orland Park, Ill.), but the right handler settled in to get through 6 2/3 innings while yielding just the five runs (four earned) on nine hits and one walk while striking out three.

“It was one of those tough first innings with a few seeing-eye singles and a really good safety squeeze,” Oilmen manager Chris Cunningham said. “We did a nice job of chipping away in the first inning to cut it to 5-3, but we were shut down after that.”

After allowing five in the first, the Oilmen responded immediately with three in the bottom of the inning. The first five NWI batters of the game reached base, highlighted by a two-run double by Tyler Nelson (Indiana / Crown Point, Ind.). Windt helped himself with a run-scoring single. After the first five Oilmen batters reached, a string of 19 straight hitters were sent down by DuPage County lefty Jordan Smevoll, who eventually earned the win after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out six.

“You’ve got to tip your cap to Smevoll,” Cunningham said. “He pitched an outstanding game. You can’t say enough about their left-handed pitching staff. They owned us all year. We’ve seen them enough, but you have to tip your cap to them. The best team won.”

Conner Tomasic (Purdue / South Suburban / Schererville, Ind.) followed Windt on the mound for the Oilmen and racked up six strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings, striking out six of the eight batters he faced while yielding just one hit to keep the Oilmen in the game.  

“I thought it was Conner’s best outing,” Cunningham said. “He looked really good and had electric stuff. The guy lives for that moment. It was perfect for him with a good crowd at a key time; he relishes that. He gave us a chance to win a baseball game, and we just didn’t come through.”

The Oilmen were held to just five hits on the season’s final night, but had plenty of production throughout the season, leading the MCL in batting average and on-base percentage on their way to the regular season championship.

“We were one of those teams where you didn’t know which guy was going to step up; different guys came through over the course of the season,” Cunningham said. “I had a very fun time; it was a good group of guys to coach. I can’t say enough about them. Playing as many games as we did in so few days was a tough task, but our guys answered the bell and played hard.”

The Oilmen received outstanding pitching over the final two games of the series, an appropriate way to close out the year for a stellar pitching staff that led the league in ERA.

“Our pitching staff was dominant,” Cunningham said. “We received excellent pitching from start to finish. You can’t say enough about that. It was a good season on the mound.”

Plans are in the works for the Oilmen 10th-anniversary celebration during the 2021 season. Although they fell short of a championship, the Oilmen accomplished the goal of aiding players in their baseball development yet again during the 2019 campaign.

“Who knows what’s going to happen with sports going forward, so it was great that our players were able to get work in,” Cunningham said. “The hitters are not going to go back and say they didn’t get enough swings in with as much BP as we took. Hopefully guys can go win jobs, and that’s the goal for everyone.”

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
February 2018
December 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
March 2017
January 2017
December 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
January 2016
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
December 2013
November 2013
September 2013
August 2013
June 2013
January 2013
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
February 2011