By: Adam Johnson
The 6-1 Hounds came into tonight’s game against rival Northwest Indiana, looking to gain sole position of first place after the Oilmen suffered an extra inning loss Wednesday night against Joliet that pushed them to a 5-2 record. Unfortunately for the Hounds, they could not take advantage of the rare Oilmen loss as they dropped tonight’s contest 5-3, leaving them tied with NWI a top the MCL standings. Tonight’s loss was reminiscent of the Hounds’ first season loss that they suffered at the hands of the Oilmen last Saturday in Lemont. Despite putting up a good amount of hits, the timely hits were absent once again and the Oilmen continued to take advantage of the free passes the Hounds’ proceeded to give them.
The Oilmen jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, courtesy of a Fred Smart sac fly that allowed Zack Jones to tag up from third base and score.
The Hounds answered in the top half of the third inning, scoring two runs of their own. The first of the two runs came when Richie Gorski was positioned at third and Trent Carrier was set up at first. Carrier took off for second on a stolen base attempt and the Oilmen opted to throw down to second and try to snag the Hounds’ base runner. The Oilmen catcher threw the ball into center field, allowing Carrier to be safe at second and Gorski to score easily on the throw. Carrier then came around to score on the next pitch when Hunter Morris smacked a single to center field.
Johnny Peltz drove in the third and what would be the final run for the Hounds when he grounded out to the shortstop with one out, allowing Matt Wollnik to score from third without a throw.
The Oilmen bats finally started to heat up in the seventh as they led off the inning with four straight hits, which lead to two NWI runs, evening up the score at 3-3. The bleeding continued when Jones tapped a weak grounder to Gorski at third whose only play was to get the out at first, which allowed Alec Olund to score, putting the Oilmen back up 4-3. The fifth and final Oilmen run came when Trent Carrier took a hard groundball off the chest at first, leaving him unable to record an out and allowing Stefano Belmonte to cross the plate.
Aside from the seventh inning, the Hounds’ hurlers pitched another quality game. Early season ace, Tom Concklin took the mound for the second time this season, going five strong innings while giving up no earned runs on five hits and striking out two. Nick Constantino came on in relief and pitched a perfect sixth inning before falling victim to the hot Oilmen bats in the seventh. Finally, newcomer Ryan Taylor pitched a quick eighth inning where he surrendered no hits.
The Hounds’ batsmen spread the production around tonight as Richie Gorski, Trent Carrier and Hunter Morris all had two hits and Ryan Fitzgerald, Matt Wollnik and Johnny Peltz each had one.
For the Oilmen, Stefano Belmonte went three for five with three singles. Tyler Sroczynski, Alec Olund and Sam Geraci each put up two hits and Donovan Chandler also put a notch in the hit column with one. The player of the game tonight was Oilmen starting pitcher Enrique Zamora who threw 116 pitches over seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out seven. Richard Yelnick then came in for the two inning save where he was near perfect, only allowing one base runner via a walk.
The Hounds (6-2) will travel to Joliet tomorrow, June 12th to take on the Admirals (2-4) at 5:00 PM (CT), looking to bounce back from tonight’s heartbreaking loss. Joliet will be coming into tomorrow’s game looking to start their first win streak of the season as they won their last matchup Wednesday night against the Oilmen in extras.
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