By: Adam Johnson
Through the first four games of the season, the Hounds found a way to dominate in at least one aspect of the game, but that dominance was nowhere to be seen today from the boys of DuPage. Flat performances on the hill and at the plate for the Hounds led to a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. The Hounds’ pitchers could not seem to find the strike zone throughout the contest and the batsmen failed to come up with timely hits, despite putting up 11.
The Oilmen jumped on Hounds’ pitching early, grabbing a quick two runs off of starter Tyler Jandron in the first inning. They didn't add any more runs until the fourth inning when they grabbed another pair off of DJ Eckert and Chris Grazioli. The steady lead continued to mount as the Oilmen plated two more in the seventh off Grazioli and one final run in the ninth off of Ethan Gasbarro. What killed Hounds’ pitchers today was all of the free passes they surrendered. As a team, they gave up six walks and hit four batters.
When looking at the lineup, it’s clear the Oilmen had quite a few offensive heroes today. Tyler Sroczynski was two for five out of the lead off spot with two RBIs. Alec Olund batted directly behind him and he reached base three times on two singles and a walk. Stefano Belmonte found his way on four times, walking three of those times and smacking a timely single that plated two runs. Brad Wood went three for five with a double and Josh Turnock went three for four with three singles and a walk.
The Oilmen pitchers also came to play today as they received quality outings from all three players. Jimmy Skiff went the first six innings giving up no earned runs on eight hits and striking out five. Richard Yelnick was the bridge man in the seventh and eight innings where he gave up no runs on two hits. Hunter Clark finished out the game giving up one hit and no runs.
Despite only scoring one run, the Hounds found a way to get on base quite a bit today. Zac Taylor was two for five out of the leadoff spot. Ryan Fitzgerald was two for four our of the two hole and the early season offensive MVP so far, Trent Carrier went three for five out of the three hole. The other Carrier brother, Shane put on an impressive offensive showing, doubling twice to the deep left-center gap and Hunter Morris reached base in all three of his plate appearances on one hit and two walks. The offensive killer for the Hounds was their timely hitting with runners in scoring position. The Hounds put the leadoff man on six out of the nine innings, none of which ended up scoring.
Today’s loss puts the Hounds in a tie for first place in the Midwest Collegiate League with the Oilmen who also sit at 4-1. The Hounds next game is Sunday at 1:00 PM (CT) against the Southland Vikings (2-1) at Hap Bruno Field
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