All bets are off. Throw the stats out and regular season records. It takes four wins to be crowned MCL Champions, and the quest started tonight for the DuPage Hounds.
The Hounds’ opponents are the Southland Vikings. The Vikings hold a 4-3 regular season lead over the Hounds. These teams last met on July 27 where the Vikings crushed the Hounds 13-4.
Brett Maus (3-3, 1.86 ERA) has been the work horse for Hounds all season long and he got the call for the Dogs. Maus’ last outing was outstanding as he went nine shutout innings against the Chicago Zephyrs. He faced off against the ace of the Southland Vikings, Aaron Hauge (2-1, 1.32 ERA). Hauge’ last outing was on July 11 in a loss to the NWI Oilmen.
With two of the best lefties in the MCL going head to head, this was a tightly contested game.
In the top of the 3rd after a balk by the Maus, Micah Rooke sent a rocket to left-center to bring in the game’s first run making it 1-0 Vikings.
The pitcher’s duel was on. Maus and Hauge went almost pitch for pitch. The Hounds only had one hit through five innings until Brian Rodemoyer drilled one to left center in the 6th. The Vikings still lead 1-0.
In the bottom of the inning, a close call at second got manager Sean Osborn and hitting coach Ben Caples tossed from the game after they argued for their team. It was a buildup of a few calls that seemed to go in the Vikings' favor.
Hauge and Maus were unfazed as they cruised into the 8th inning, both having more than 100 pitches.
In the bottom of the 8th, Joey White doubled with one away with a monster drive to left-center. DeJong was walked to put runners on first and second. After Richer struck out, Rodemoyer had a chance to tie the game. After a lengthy at-bat, he struck out to end the inning. The Vikings hung on to their 1-0 lead.
With 111 pitches, Maus came out to pitch the 9th inning. His final line was nine innings with eight strikeouts and three walks, only surrendering one run.
It was do or die time in the bottom of the 9th for the Dogs. Alex Lesiak (0-2, 2.20 ERA S 3) took the bump for Hauge in the inning. Hauge’s final line was eight innings of shutout baseball.
Lesiak made quick work of the bottom of the Hounds order.
The final: 1-0 Vikings
It was two pitching aces going at it, and it was reflected in the score.
The next game will be tomorrow at Southland at 7 p.m.
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