Chase Fieldhouse, of the Southland Vikings, connects against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen at Oil City Stadium, Thursday, June 12th, 2014, in Whiting | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 14, 2014 6:38AM
WHITING, In. — It was just one of those days for Northwest Indiana’s Jason Gasser.
The fastball wasn’t so fast. The off-speed stuff wasn’t moving as much.
The Mount Carmel grad and Northern Illinois star was going to take advantage on this night.
“The ball looked like a beach ball,” Gasser said with a smile.
Gasser finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and four runs batted in as host Northwest Indiana prevailed 5-4 over the Southland Vikings Thursday night at Oil City Stadium in a Midwest Collegiate League game.
The impressive day at the plate came after four days off, including rainouts Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I needed that break because I work a lot, and I didn’t really swing it at all,” Gasser said. “In the game, I just felt really smooth. I was getting my pitches, and two of my hits were with two strikes. Just trying to put the ball in play, and thankfully they left pitches over the plate.”
Having strung together back-to-back RBI doubles in the first and third innings, Gasser deposited a pitch in the right-field corner in the fifth to bring in two runs and tie the game at 4-4 with a triple.
One batter later, Craig Dedelow brought Gasser in with a sacrifice fly to deep center to put Northwest Indiana (5-4) up 5-4 through five innings.
The Northwest Indiana pitching staff did the rest, shutting down the Vikings to the tune of just two hits over the last four innings.
Jimmy McNamara earned the victory, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts over six innings of work.
In relief, Garrett Sherrell went two innings, pitching around two errors behind him, with two strikeouts, before closer Matt Pobereyko finished things out with a 1-2-3 ninth.
“Jimmy is tremendous, and Garrett and Matt come in, throw that shutout (in relief),” Gasser said. “They’re all great, and I think we have the best bullpen in the league.”
For Southland (4-5) in defeat, Bobby Sheppard went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBI.
“I strike out that first time but felt like I was still on it (at the plate),” Sheppard said. “I was seeing the ball well. It’s a blast playing with these guys. We come up a little short today, but any inning we can get them. We just didn’t have it today.”
Making his season debut with the Vikings, Indiana’s Chris Sujka (Mount Carmel) had an RBI with Micah Rooke adding an RBI of his own.