By: Adam Johnson
Game 1: Saturday, June 20th vs. Joliet Admirals
A day after scoring 12 runs against Michigan City, the DuPage bats did a disappearing act as the team only mustered up one run on one hit in 9-1 loss against the Joliet Admirals. Joliet starter Sean Renzi controlled the game from the get go, not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. The Hounds pitching kept them in the ball game for a majority of the game until the Admirals erupted for seven runs in the top half of the eighth inning, which ultimately sealed the deal for Joliet.
Admiral outfielder John Thomas led the offensive charge for his squad, going four for five with three singles, a home run two RBIs. Chris Hipchen and Danny Kelly were both three for five with three singles. Third baseman Ryan Hutchinson was two for five with a double and three runs batted in and first baseman Jack Martin also put up two hits, both of which were singles. Finally, Micah Coffey, Zach Thomas and Tyler Paulson each attributed one hit to the Joliet slugfest.
The story of the day was Admiral pitcher Sean Renzi who flat out dominated out on the mound, going an easy six innings and only giving up one run on one hit while striking out eight. Paulson came on in relief and went a clean two innings giving up no runs on no hits and then Ryan Van Volkenberg was handed the ball in the ninth where he too gave up no runs on no hits while striking out two.
The lone Hound hit came off the bat of Shane Carrier, which allowed his older brother Trent to score easily from second. Ryan Taylor started his first game of the season for the Hounds and he went six innings in which he gave up only two runs on eleven hits while striking out seven. Bobby Wenthe was the victim of the Admirals’ monster inning in the eighth that scarred his otherwise productive day on the hill. His final line read seven runs given up over seven innings on six hits while striking out three.
Game 2: Saturday June 20th vs. Joliet Admirals
The Hounds had no choice but to bounce back after their dismal game one performance and it’s safe to say that their game two performance was much more to the liking of managers Sean Osborne and Ben Caple. The DuPage bats finally showed up for game two and the pitchers found a way to avoid the big inning that blew it for them in the first game. Their solid all-around performance led them to a well-deserved 5-4 victory over the streaking Admirals.
The Hounds managed to score all five of their runs on eleven seeing eye singles. Ryan Fitzgerald lead the singles storm by smacking three in five chances while also driving in a run. Johnny Peltz also had three base hits in all three plate appearances. He also drove in one run, scored one run and stole his fourth base of the season. Matt Wollnik went two for four with two runs scored. Joe Duncan and Shane Carrier were both one for four and Billy Hayes also picked up a knock that drove in two key runs.
Ethan Gasbarro started the game for the Hounds where he threw the first three innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out one. The ball was then handed over to Jimmy Ward who had just recently joined the team after suffering a back injury. Ward went the remaining six innings and he was spectacular, allowing only one run on three hits while striking out five.
Admiral leadoff man Micah Coffey went two for five with a single and a monster homerun. Chris Hipchen had two hits, both of which were doubles. Josh Bergbrieter also picked up two knocks, one of which was a single and the other was a double. Ryan Hutchinson, Jack Martin, Joe Thomas and Brad Groleau each all had one hit.
The double-header split moves the season series to 2-1 in favor of the Hounds. These two teams will next meet again on June 28th in another double-header at Wayne L. King Jr. field in Joliet.
Game 3: Sunday June 21st vs. Lexington Snipes
The Lexington Snipes came into today’s game looking to inflict revenge on DuPage after the Hounds shut them down on their home turf earlier this season. Needless to say Lexington got what they wanted after they wiped out the Hounds in an impressive 8-2 victory. A game that was close throughout, the Snipes busted it open late in the game, scoring two insurance runs in the eighth and three in the ninth. Lexington was clicking in all facets of the game as the offense put up a whopping 16 hits and the pitchers only allowed seven hits while striking out nine.
Chris Maranto was the big bat in the Snipes line up as he went four for six two doubles and a RBI. Jared McCunn and Jason Priest were both two for four with two singles and two runs batted in. Neal Tyrell, Tyler Horchem and Cully Day also went two for four with two singles. Ryan Frye and Owen Miller each picked up a base hit in their three plate appearances. Finally, Dion Thompson reached base three times via the walk.
The Snipes started Reid Birlingmair who went a solid six innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out seven. The Lexington bullpen was near perfect for the remaining three innings as Jack Rettig pitched the seventh inning giving up no runs on no hits and then Jeff Lavin threw the final two giving up no runs on two hits while striking out two.
The Hounds’ offensive leader today was Shane Carrier who went two for four with a single, double and a RBI. Michael Wisz went one for two at the plate with a single and the one other Hound RBI. Joe Duncan, Matt Wollnik, Hunter Morris and Ryan Fitzgerald each all picked up a single to round out the Hounds’ seven total hits.
Noah Masa took the hill for the fourth time this season where he pitched well enough to potentially win today’s ball game, going seven innings and allowing only three runs on eleven hits while striking out four. Nick McKinney got roughed up for the first time this year as he went the final two innings, allowing five runs on five hits.
The Hounds’ next ballgame will be Wednesday, June 24th at 5:00 PM (CT) against today’s opponent, the Lexington Snipes at Illinois Wesleyan University. The season series currently sits at 1-1 so both teams will be hungry for a win that would give their squad the early season series bragging rights.
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