The game was close early on but the Northwest Indiana Oilmen (27-14) used two big innings to pull away and take down the Southland Vikings (18-22), 16-4.
In the first inning, the Vikings scored first with a sacrifice fly from Dan Potempa. But in the bottom of the inning, the Oilmen tied it up. In the third, the Oilmen added two more runs to take a 3-1 lead.
After two scoreless innings, the Vikings cut the lead with an RBI single by Dan Eliopulos in the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, however, the Oilmen scored five runs including a 2-run home run from John Livingston. They added eight more runs in the seventh to take a 16-2 lead. The Vikings would score two in the eighth but would ultimately fall to the Oilmen, 16-4.
While the Vikings had 10 hits, they also left 10 on base. A.J. Doyle led the way, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored. But it was the Oilmen offense that stood out especially Elliot Bajda and Jack Cinoman. Bajda went 1 for 2 while drawing four walks, stealing three bases, scoring four runs and driving in two. Cinoman finished going 2 for 5 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Danny Britt (7-1) received the win for the Oilmen as he went seven innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits. While Aaron Hauge (0-3) only allowed two hits and struck out eight, he also walked six while giving up three earned runs and picked up the loss. In fact, the Vikings had five pitchers come to the mound that combined to walk 10 batters.
With this loss, Southland now holds a 2.5 game lead over the Chicago Zephyrs (15-24) for the final playoff spot. The Vikings will finish the regular season with a 3-game homestand starting Friday night against the DeKalb County Liners (26-15).