By: Adam Johnson
The only thing that has been hotter than this mid-July weather lately is the play of the DuPage Hounds. After tonight’s 8-4 victory over the Joliet Admirals, the Hounds have now extended their winning streak to seven games with no signs of slowing down. The bats continue to stay hot, putting up double digits in hits almost every night. The pitching also continues to dominate, keeping the Hounds in every single ballgame thanks to their extremely low walk rate. Finally, the defense continues its’ gold glove play thanks to the performance from arguably the best defensive infield in the MCL. The Hounds are no doubt clicking at the right time and the chase for the number one seed in the MCL playoffs will be an easy one for DuPage if they keep these efforts up over the final three weeks.
For the third game in a row, Joe Duncan saw his name atop the Hounds batting order. He continued his offensive dominance by going two for five with two singles, two RBIs and stole his team-leading 17th base.
The Carrier brothers slid one spot up from their usual three-four spots into the two-three spots with Trent being the first to hit. He continues to be the Hounds’ most trusted bat as he went two for four on the day with two singles and two RBIs. Shane was no slouch either as he went one for four with a double that drove in two runs.
The leader of the stellar Hounds’ infield, Ryan Fitzgerald hit cleanup and went one for four with a single. Another piece of the gold-gloved quartet, Richie Gorski followed Fitz in the order and reached base twice in his five plate appearances on a walk and a single.
Hunter Morris and Ryan Taylor split tonight’s backstop duties. Morris started the game and went one for three at the plate with a single. Taylor finished out the game and also reached base once in his two tries on a single.
Emerson Misch continues his late-season hot streak as he went one for two with a booming double. Dustin Krob saw his name on the lineup card once again as manager Sean Osborne simply cannot afford to keep his hot bat out of the lineup. Krob finished the day by going one for four with a single and a RBI.
The Hounds handed the ball to Danny Riley to start the game, hoping he could keep up the success the other DuPage pitchers have displayed the last few times out. Riley did just that, making timely pitches when he need to. His final line read six innings in which he surrendered four runs on nine hits while striking out four and walking only one. Richie Gorski strolled over from third base to close out the final three innings where he earned his first save of the season. The everyday third baseman continued his surprising dominance, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out two in his three innings of work.
For Joliet, MVP candidate Micah Coffey lead the way offensively by going three for five with two singles, a triple and a run batted in. Hound killer John Thomas came in off the bench and went two for two with two singles and two RBIs. Brad Groleau reached base once on a triple in his two chances. Zach Thomas, Ryan Hutchinson, Chris Hipchen and Alex Wolanski all reached base once on singles.
Admiral’s starting pitcher Chris Hawkes will definitely get tomorrow off as he was the only pitcher to throw for Joliet tonight, topping out at 139 pitches. He gave up all eight runs, only five of which were earned, on 11 hits while striking out six.
The next two contests for the Hounds will prove to extremely pivotal for the team’s quest to secure first place in the MCL. Those two games will come on Saturday, July 18th against the second place Lexington Snipes at the Lemont High School Sports Complex with the first game starting at 1:00 PM (CT). The Hounds currently hold a three and a half game lead over Lexington for first. DuPage also leads the season series four games to two.
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