By: Adam Johnson
After starting the season 0-3 against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, the Hounds finally found away to beat their toughest rival. Lately, the Hounds have been the team that ends up on the losing end of a late inning comeback, but tonight they turned the tables and they were the ones playing spoiler. NWI jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the third, then added to it in the fifth when they plated an additional run to make it 3-0. The Hounds’ bats finally awoke in the bottom half of the fifth when they scored two courtesy of Billy Hayes and Dustin Krob, which cut the lead down to one run and pushed the score to 3-2. Joe Duncan tied it up 3-3 in the seventh on a RBI single to left, then Ryan Fitzgerald gave the Hounds’ the 4-3 lead on a RBI double that missed clearing the wall by a mere inches.
It’s safe to say that the Hounds’ would not have been in this game if it weren’t for their stellar pitching. Nick Alfini took the bump for the second time this year where he continued to impress. The product of St. Ambrose went seven strong innings, giving up only three runs on seven hits while striking out two. Late inning regular Nick Constantino and closer Nick McKinney were given the task of closing out this crucial ballgame. Constantino went one and one-thirds innings where he surrendered no runs on one hit while striking out one. McKinney moves to two for two on the season in save chances after finishing off the final two-thirds inning, giving up no runs on no hits.
Speedster Joe Duncan found himself back atop the Hounds lineup tonight, going one for four with a single and a RBI.
Trent Carrier, Johnny Peltz and Bobby Wenthe hit three, four, five in the lineup where they all went one for four with a single.
Matt Wollnik started the game at second base and went one for two at the plate with a single. Ryan Fitzgerald replaced him in the seventh and he too went one for two with that crucial, go-ahead double.
Billy Hayes was the man behind the dish tonight and he went two for three with a single and a booming double that hit off the top of the fence and drove in a run.
Dustin Krob hit out of the eight-hole where he went an impressive two for three with two singles and a RBI, while also picking up his second stolen base of the season.
For the Oilmen, Xavier Warren had three hits with a double and an RBI. Zach Jones went two for five and drove in the other Oilmen RBI. Brain Seymour, Donovan Chandler and Sam Geraci each picked up a base hit tonight, all of which were singles. The Oilmen pitching staff was strong tonight, but not strong enough as starter Keith Mahler went five innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Sam Bell threw two innings in relief, giving up one run on two hits and Richard Yelnick took the loss tonight, giving up the late run in the eighth.
With tonight’s win, the Hounds (8-3) move back into first place in the MCL standings, just a half game ahead of NWI (7-3). The Hounds’ next game is Friday, June 18th against the Michigan City Lakers (2-8) at 5:00 PM (CT). The Lakers currently sit at the bottom of the MCL standings and they will be looking to win their first game since June 6th.
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