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Joliet Out-slugs DuPage to Take Game 1 of the MCL Semi-Finals

By: Adam Johnson
08/01/2015 5:53 PM -
Day one of the MCL playoffs started off with a bang as the Joliet Admirals beat the Hounds, 14-13 in what looked like a nine-inning batting practice session. To start the game, it looked as if DuPage was going to run away with it after they quickly went up 5-0 after three innings thanks to Joliet’s poor defensive play and the dominance of Hounds’ starting pitcher, Jake Latz. However, after Latz exited the game after just a few innings, the Admirals stormed back to tie it up at five. Joliet’s offense did not stop there as they scored six more unanswered runs to go up 11-5 after six innings of play. Just when it looked to be out of reach, DuPage started to chip away at the brutal six-run deficit as they scored one run in the sixth, three in the seventh and three in the eighth. Next thing they knew, the Hounds were up 12-11 heading into the final frame.
 
With just three outs to work with before potentially going down 0-1 in the best of three series, the first Admiral batter of the inning led off the ninth with a double. The Hounds proceeded to get the next two batters out without the letting the run score. However, that runner did make his way to third in the process. The fourth Joliet batter of the inning walked and the runner from third ended up scoring on a wild pitch, which knotted the game up at 12. Zach Thomas was up next and after going down 0-2 in the count he smacked a moon-shot homerun over the right field fence to go up 14-12. The Hounds ended up scoring one run in their final at bat, but came up just short after they grounded out with a man on first to end the slugfest at 14-13.
 
Zac Taylor led it off for the Hounds and went two for six with two singles. Dustin Krob followed Taylor in the order and also went two for six with two singles. The potential Midwest Collegiate League MVP Ryan Fitzgerald moved up to third in the order thanks to his late-season dominance. He reached base three times in his six trips to the plate on a walk, a double and a RBI triple. 
 
The Carrier brothers were back to hitting back-to-back with Trent hitting fourth and Shane hitting fifth. Trent’s bat returned to mid-season form today as he reached base three times in six attempts on a walk and two doubles. He also drove in a run and stole one of the Hounds’ two bases. Shane continues to be a run-producing machine for the Hounds as he went an impressive five for six at the plate with four singles and a double. He drove in two of the Hounds’ 13 runs and stole the other Hounds’ base.
 
Richie Gorski was slotted into the sixth hole where he went a solid two for five at the plate with two singles. Joe Duncan immediately followed him in the order and went two for five with a single and a two-run triple. Bobby Wenthe entered the ballgame halfway through the contest to pitch, but he also went one for two at the dish with a RBI single and a one-run sac fly. 
 
Catcher Hunter Morris also entered the game halfway through to relieve starter Billy Hayes. Morris reached base all three times in his three plate appearances on two walks and a RBI single. Ryan Taylor finished one for two on the day with a single and a RBI.
 
As mentioned earlier, LSU product Jake Latz was handed the ball to start the game where he proved his dominance quickly. Unfortunately for the Hounds, he was limited to just two innings due to the fact that this was his first game back from injury and he was being held to a strict pitch count. In his two innings of work, he allowed no runs on one hit while striking out five. Ryan Taylor was the first Hound to come on in relief and the Admirals jumped all over him, scoring eight runs off of him on nine hits in just two innings. Pat Cashman came on next and surrendered three runs on four hits while striking out two in his two innings. The seventh inning was handled by Preston Miracle who gave up no runs on one hit while striking out one. Bobby Wenthe threw the eighth and gave up no runs on no hits while striking out two. Finally, Peter Hamot was handed the loss after giving up three runs on two hits in the ninth.
 
For Joliet, Jack Martin reached base four times in his five trips on three singles and a triple. Tyler Paulsen went three for five with three doubles and four RBIs. Alex Wolanski reached base three times on a walk, a single and a RBI double. John Thomas (2 RBIs) and Ryan Hutchinson both reached base twice on singles. Danny Kelly and Nate Tholl both went one for five with a single. Anthony Bragg was one for five with a two-run double. Zach Thomas only went one for six but he made that one hit count, as it was the go ahead two run homer that put them up 14-12 in the ninth. 
 
Familiar face Sean Renzi started against the Hounds for the fourth time this season where he threw five innings in which he gave up five runs on ten hits while striking out three. Dave Schurr threw the sixth and the seventh inning where he gave up four runs on five hits. The Hounds then tagged reliever Yianni Pavlopoulos for three runs on two hits in just one-thirds of an inning. Zach Thomas came on to finish out the eighth and the ninth where he surrendered just one run in the ninth on three hits while striking out two.
 
The next game between the Hounds and the Admirals will be Sunday, August 2nd at 3:00 PM (CT) at Wayne L. King Jr. Field. The Hounds will have to win Sunday’s contest as well as Monday’s if they hope to advance to the 2015 Midwest Collegiate League Championship against either the Lexington Snipes or the NWI Oilmen.
 


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