RAIN POSTPONES MCL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES OPENER: It seems the only thing that can stop the Northwest Indiana Oilmen’s playoff run is inclement weather.
Heavy rains in northern Lake County postponed the opening game of the Midwest Collegiate League finals between the Oilmen and Southland Vikings on Friday.
Game 1 is rescheduled for 7:10 tonight at Oil City Stadium with the second and potential third game of the best-of-three series each moving back a day.
The second-seeded Oilmen outscored Lexington 29-12 in a two-game sweep of the semifinals, and the fourth-seeded Southland Vikings, a team featuring many Northwest Indiana and southeast suburban alums, swept top seed DuPage County.
“The guys have done a great job to this point,” Oilmen manager Justin Huisman said Thursday in advance of the series.
Huisman will not change his scheduled pitching rotation, but the Vikings will use the extra day of rest to shuffle theirs.
The Oilmen will start Andy Wellwerts (Hanover Central), Michael Steensen and, if necessary, Jimmy McNamara (Lake Central).
Southland will use Brandon White, Chris Chigas and, if necessary, Aaron Hauge (Homewood-Flossmoor).
Action shifts to Homewood-Flossmoor High School at 7:10 p.m. Sunday, and, if necessary, the series will return to Oil City Stadium for a winner-take-all contest at 7:10 p.m. Monday.
The Oilmen won the league’s inaugural crown last summer and are 6-0 in the playoffs as a franchise. -- Paul Trembacki, Times Correspondent
CUBS WASTE LAKE'S 4 HITS: Junior Lake became the first Cubs player to collect four hits twice in his first 16 major league games since at least 1916, and he was once again the lone bright spot for Chicago in a 6-2 loss to the surging Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
Mark Ellis extended his hitting streak to 13 games before both he and manager Don Mattingly were ejected, and the Dodgers matched an 89-year-old club record with their 12th straight road victory.
FISTER, TIGERS EDGE SOX: Doug Fister pitched eight impressive innings; Austin Jackson homered, and Jose Iglesias drove in a run in his Detroit debut to lead the Tigers to a 2-1 win over the White Sox.
The White Sox lost their eighth straight game, and AL Central-leading Detroit has won 10 of 11.
Local auto racing
OUTLAWS COMING TO ILLIANA: The Indiana-based Hoss Outlaw sprint cars invade Illiana Motor Speedway today for a 30-lap main event featuring six divisions of racing.
Gates will open at 4 p.m., with time trials set for 5:30 and the first race at 7. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children aged 8 to 12. Kids 7 and under get in free.
BEARS ADD LINEBACKER TO MIX: The Bears signed linebacker Andrew Starks to a three-year contract and waived kicker Austin Signor on Friday.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Starks appeared 39 games over four seasons (2009-12) for Princeton recording 298 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
As a junior and senior at Princeton, the Plainfield, Ill., native earned All-Ivy Second Team honors after leading the team in tackles each season.
STEPHENSON TO LEAD PUMAS: Saint Joseph’s College Director of Athletics Bill Massoels announced the hiring of Diane Stephenson on Friday.
Stephenson, a veteran of Big Ten softball, will serve as the program's sixth head coach since its inception in 1986.
“Her credentials are impeccable; she has been around softball for over 30 years as a player and coach," Massoels said in a news release.
Stephenson spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Purdue, where the Boilermakers posted a 84-72-2 mark in that span, including two 30-win seasons.
From 2008-2010, Stephenson worked for Gayle Blevins and Iowa as the team's hitting coach and instructed the Hawkeye catchers. In her first season with the team, the Hawkeyes posted a 42-16 mark and qualified for the NCAA tournament.
Around the horn
Tiger Woods made a run at 59, one of the last items missing from his resume. Instead, he had to be content with tying his career best with a 9-under 61 and building a seven-shot lead Friday through 36 holes at the Bridgestone Invitational. ... Before Inbee Park can think about a chance to make history as the first golfer to win four professional majors in the same season, she faced a more immediate concern in the Women's British Open at St. Andrews — how to make up an eight-shot deficit against Na Yeon Choi. Choi owns a one-shot lead over Miki Saiki of Japan going into the weekend. Saiki set the Old Course record for the Women's British Open with a 66. ... Jimmie Johnson set a track record with a lap of 180.654 mph to win the pole at Pocono Raceway. ... Mike Conley Sr., one of Greg Oden's agents, said Oden has informed the Heat that he will accept their contract offer, a process that will likely be formally completed early next week.