Ninth Inning Rally Carries Oilmen to Win Over Hounds; NWI Secures Sole Position of First Place in MCL Standings
By: Adam Johnson
Tonight’s battle for first place was your classic nail biter from start to finish as we saw the Northwest Indiana put together an impressive ninth inning rally that helped the Oilmen secure the 4-3 victory over the Hounds. NWI continues to have the Hounds’ number this season, as tonight’s win over DuPage is their fourth in five tries this season.
The Oilmen jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the second after Fred Smart hit a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Stefano Belmonte to score from third easily.
The Hounds wasted no time to bite back as they picked up a run of their own in the third after a Joe Duncan single drove in Billy Hayes from third.
DuPage picked up two more runs in the fifth after Hayes scored on an error by shortstop Brad Wood. Then the Hounds executed the first and third double steal perfectly as Ryan Taylor’s steal attempt of second drew a throw from the Oilmen catcher, which allowed Duncan to steal home, pushing the score to 3-1.
NWI cut the Hounds’ lead down to one in the bottom half of the inning after Smart grounded out to Ryan Fitzgerald at second on a fielder’s choice, which allowed Brian Seymour to score from third without a throw.
No runs were scored on either side until the bottom half of the ninth frame when the Oilmen drove in two runs that ultimately led them to the walk-off win. The tying run was produced by Seymour who grounded out to Fitzgerald at second, which allowed Joe Jumonville to score from third on the fielder’s choice. Zack Jones was the Oilman that drove the walk-off dagger into the Hounds after he singled to shallow right field, scoring Smart from third.
The major storyline that got lost in the walk-off hoopla was the starting pitching matchup between Hounds’ All-Star Tom Concklin and Oilmen All-Star Enrique Zamora. Concklin went an outstanding six innings in which he only allowed two runs on three hits. Zamora took all matters into his own hands as he went the complete nine innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out eight.
Ryan Taylor came on to pitch after Concklin where he put together another impressive outing in relief in which he surrendered no runs on only two hits in his two innings of work.
Hounds’ All-Star Noah Masa was the unfortunate victim of the NWI ninth inning as he surrendered the final two runs on three hits.
Joe Duncan led the way for DuPage offensively as he went three for four with three singles, a RBI and snagged his team high twelfth stolen base of the season. Zac Taylor went two for four with two singles and a stolen base. Trent Carrier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Billy Hayes each picked up a single in their four at bats.
Fred Smart was the only Oilmen batter to pick up multiple hits as he went two for two with a single, triple and a RBI. Brian Seymour picked up two RBIs despite not picking up a hit in his three at bats. Brad Wood, Alec Olund, Stefano Belmonte, Joe Jumonville, Jordan Lewis and Zach Jones all picked up one single throughout the contest.
The Hounds’ (13-7) next game is Friday, July 3rd at 5:00 PM (CT) at Hap Bruno Field against the Southland Vikings (6-11-1). The Hounds edged out the Vikings in their last outing by a score of 3-2, which moved the season series to 4-1 in favor of DuPage.
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