By: Adam Johnson
After being on the losing end of two late inning comebacks, the Hounds finally found themselves on the winning end of one when they took down the Southland Vikings, 6-5. The Hounds jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, but saw that lead slip away in the fifth when the Vikings plated two runs to even up the score. Southland did not stop there as they put up an additional two runs in the top half of the sixth and one in the seventh, pushing the score to 5-2. When the momentum looked to be entirely in favor of the Vikings, the Hounds stormed back with vengeance, scoring four runs in the bottom half of the seventh and reclaiming the lead, 6-5.
The Hounds’ decided to shake up their batting order this afternoon and it proved to be successful. Shane Carrier’s hot bat and high on base percentage propelled him to move up to second in the order where he notched a single and scored a run.
We saw Richie Gorski move back into the three-hole where he went two for five with two singles and scored one run. Trent Carrier, arguably one of the hottest hitters in the MCL moved back one spot in the order to the clean up spot where he went one for three with a single and a walk. He also scored once and drove in one run.
Zac Taylor, the co-offensive MVP for tonight’s game slid down to fifth in the order where he went two for four with two singles. He tied for the game high in runs batted in with two and he also scored one run.
The other Hounds’ offensive MVP for tonight was Hunter Morris. Morris also went two for four with two RBI’s, but his shining moment came on a tapper he hit back to the pitcher with one out, the bases loaded and the Hounds down 5-4. The pitcher made an acrobatic play to snag the high bouncing chopper, but his throw to home plate was extremely off, allowing two Hounds to come around and score on the error and take the 6-5 lead.
Hounds’ pitching also played a pivotal role in tonight’s win, shutting down a high-octane Southland lineup. Staff regular Tom Concklin took the hill for the third time this season where he gave the Hounds another quality outing, going four and two-thirds innings and giving up only two runs on three hits. Newcomer Danny Riley picked up the win after he came on in relief, throwing two and one-thirds innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out two. The eighth inning was a quick one thanks to familiar face Nick Constantino who got through the scoreless inning on only seven pitches. Hounds’ closer Nick McKinney came in and pitched the ninth where he finally picked up his first save of the season on his first opportunity.
For Southland, Sanford Hunt and Jordan Jackson led the way with two hits, one of which was a double for both batsmen. Cody Haver and Clark Brinkman were both one for three with a double and Chris Stevens and Jesse Forestell each put a tally in the hit column, both reaching on singles.
The Vikings standout pitcher was starter Matt Sandoval who went a quality four innings, giving up no earned runs on four hits while striking out two. His solid performance on the mound was bitten by the free passes he surrendered and poor defensive play in the outfield that allowed two Hounds runs to score early.
The Hounds’ next contest is Thursday, June 18th at the Lemont High School Athletic Complex against their heated rival, the Northwest Indiana Oilmen (7-2) at 5:00 PM (CT). The Hounds’ will be looking to snag their first victory of the year against NWI after dropping the first three games to them this season.
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