By: Adam Johnson
Tonight, it was simply a little too late for DuPage. The Hounds entered the top half of the eighth inning down 8-2 when they finally started to chip away at Southland’s comfortable lead by scoring two runs, cutting the deficit down to four runs. DuPage added two more runs in the ninth, but their late-inning rally was halted after Ryan Fitzgerald smoked an absolute rocket line drive directly at the right fielder, ending the game at a score of 8-6. Despite losing tonight’s game, the Hounds still have a comfortable 4 game lead over the Snipes for the top spot in the MCL.
Dustin Krob found himself penciled in the top third of the Hounds’ batting order thanks to red-hot bat. He went two for four at the dish with two singles and a RBI. Shane Carrier manned his usual cleanup spot where he went a team’s best three for five with two singles, a double and a RBI.
The hit machine himself Ryan Fitzgerald saw his average climb to .344 after the game thanks to his two for four performance. His two hits both came in the form of singles and he also reached base a third time after drawing a walk. Fitz’s infield mate Riche Gorski reached base twice in his four chances on a walk and a single.
Hunter Morris came into the game late to pinch hit where he was successful in the lone at bat after smacking a single. The big bat himself, Bobby Wenthe did not pick up any hits in the ballgame but he did reach base once via the walk and drove in a run on a long sacrifice fly. Matt Wollnik also drove in a RBI on sac fly. Finally, Trent Carrier reached base once in his five plate appearances on a walk.
Danny Riley took the mound to start the game for the Hounds. He threw the first five innings in which he allowed six runs, five of which were earned, on five hits while striking out three. Nick McKinney came on to throw the sixth where he allowed no runs on one hit while striking out one. Finally, Matt Wollnik took the mound for the final two innings where he surrendered two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits.
For Southland, Tyler Johnson led the way offensively, reaching base three times in his five chances on a walk and two singles. He also drove in a team high two runs. Leadoff man Jeff Cardenas went two for five with a single, double and a RBI. Jake Hichkey was two for four with two singles. Clark Brinkman reached base once on a RBI double. Luis Avila rounded out Southland’s nine hits after going one for three with a single. He also reached a second time on a walk.
John Swisher started the ballgame for the Vikings. He was extremely efficient through his seven innings of work in which he allowed only two runs on five hits while striking out five. The Hounds managed to tag reliever Robert Nunn, but Nunn ultimately found a way to stop the bleeding before it was too late. He gave up four runs on four hits between the eighth and ninth innings.
The Hounds’ (26-11) next ballgame will be Thursday, July 23rd at 5:00 PM (CT) against the third place Northwest Indiana Oilmen (20-14, 4.5 games back of 1st) at the Lemont High School Sports Complex. The Oilmen currently lead the season series four games to three
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