Late-Inning Comeback Propels Hounds to Game One Victory; DuPage Now Leads Lexington, 1-0 in the MCL Championship Series
By: Adam Johnson
Things weren’t looking good for the boys from DuPage after just one inning of play in game one of the MCL Championship Series. The Lexington Snipes jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning after Hounds front-line ace, Tom Concklin ran into a few bumps. However, after the first inning, Concklin was back to being his dominant self as he did not allow a single run for the rest of his outing. The red-hot Hounds’ offense remained absent through the first seven innings of play as the score stayed at 2-0 in favor of the Snipes, until DuPage strung together their go-ahead rally.
Zac Taylor started the eighth-inning hit parade with a perfectly executed bunt single. Ryan Fitzgerald kept the line moving with a double down the right field line. Then, the hot-hitting Trent Carrier came up and missed a home run by a mere feet, but ultimately settled for the two-run ground rule double. With the score knotted at 2-2, Matt Wollnik slugged in the go-ahead run on a line drive single to center. Hunter Morris jumped in the eighth-inning fun by singling to right. Finally, Joe Duncan drove in the final Hound run on a line drive single to right, pushing the score to 4-2, where it would stay until the conclusion of the contest.
The top three batters in the Hounds’ order did a majority of the offensive damage in Wednesday’s ballgame. Zac Taylor led it off as usual where he went two for five with two singles. Ryan Fitzgerald hit second where he went two for four with a single and a double. Trent Carrier rounded out the hot-hitting trio as he went two for four with a single and that eighth-inning, two-run double.
Shane Carrier hit out of his familiar cleanup spot where he went one for four with a single. Hunter Morris locked down the catching duties for the entirety of game one and also went one for four at the plate with a single. The big bat of the ballgame belonged to Joe Duncan who went a game-best, three for four with two singles, a double and a RBI.
The DH spot was manned by Bobby Wenthe who put up one single throughout his four plate appearances. Finally, Matt Wollnik entered the ballgame late as a defensive replacement, but he also managed to go one for one in his lone at bat with that go-ahead RBI single.
Manager Sean Osborne elected to go with one of his season-long aces to start game one of the MCL Championship Series and that ace was Tom Conklin. Despite a two walk, two hit, two-run first inning, Conklin finished the game with stellar numbers. His final line read six innings of two-ball, that came on six hits while striking out three. Ryan Taylor came on in relief where he too was absolutely stellar. Taylor locked down the final three innings in which he surrendered no runs and only gave up one hit as he earned his first victory of the post season.
For Lexington, Neal Tyrell was the only Snipe to have a multi-hit game as he went two for four with two singles. Cully Day and Christ Maranto both reached base twice on a walk and a single. Jared McCunn, Tyler Horchem and Tanner Russell all went one for four with a single. Finally, Cale Robinson went one for three with a single and had the Snipe’s lone RBI.
Lexington starting pitcher, Brent Fanning was fantastic through his seven innings of work in which he allowed no runs on six hits while striking out three. After he exited the ballgame, the Hounds lit into relievers Ian Hall and Kolton Vermillion. Hall gave up two runs on two hits without recording a single out. Vermillion didn't fair much better as he gave up two runs on three hits without recording an out. Kody Silverthorn was the third pitcher to pitch in the eighth and he finally stopped the bleeding as he gave up no runs on two hits while striking out one.
Game two of the best of three MCL Championship series will be Thursday, August 6th at 5:00 PM (CT) in Lexington at High Desert Field.
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