Connor Kopach scored three runs and brought the defense to back up Adam Dressler as the Hounds knocked off the Oilmen 6-2 Saturday night in Oil City.
Kopach finished the day 2-3 with a triple and RBI to complement his three runs. He also was involved in nine putouts from the shortstop position, including a double play to end the 5th inning.
Kopach scored his first run off a hit-and-run situation in the top of the 3rd. Emerson Misch hit a hard groundball down the third base line that gave Nate Schneider trouble. Kopach, who broke for second on the pitch, raced to an uncovered third base, sailing all the way home after the ball settled between Schneider and left fielder Rob Blissitt. The hustle move put DuPage up 3-0.
DuPage County (24-11) struck first in the 2nd against Northwest Indiana starter Cameron Linck. Richie Gorski blooped a leadoff double on the right field line and scored on Adam Wilson’s Texas-leaguer base hit. Wilson made it to third and scored when Stewart Nelson beat out an infield single.
Northwest Indiana (19-13), who came in short of arms after a 16-inning loss Friday night to Lexington, could not rely on the usually-reliable Linck. Far from his seven shutout innings of June 27, Linck lasted just five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and blowing through 107 pitches.
On the winning side was Adam Dressler, who dressed to impress for his first start of the season. Dressler allowed two runs on six hits through seven innings, walking two and striking out one. He only needed 73 pitches, including a five-pitch 1st inning, benefiting from an aggressive NWI approach that saw the Oilmen swing at the first pitch 13 times.
Kopach drove in DuPage’s fourth run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 4th. He blasted a one-out triple in the 6th and scored on Misch’s groundout to first to make it 5-1. In the 9th, Kopach was hit by an Andrew Jackson pitch (the fourth hit batsman of the night against the Hounds) and eventually scored on Gorski’s sac fly to give the game its final margin.
Christian Bokich got the nod for the final two frames, recording six scoreless outs around a solitary walk. He picks up the save after entering with a three-run lead in the 8th.
With the win, the Hounds keep their 1.5 game lead over the Southland Vikings in the Midwest Collegiate League standings. The Vikings beat the Lexington Snipes to keep pace with DuPage County. The two teams meet for a massive showdown tomorrow night at the Benedictine Dog Pound. That game will be broadcast live on dupagehounds.com.
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