By: Adam Johnson
Final bragging rights were on the line for Wednesday’s contest between the Hounds and Oilmen. With the season series knotted up at four games apiece, the winner of the ballgame would secure the five games to four season series win. Unfortunately for the Hounds, they did not end up securing the victory as they lost to their rival Oilmen, 5-1. The Hounds struck first in the second inning after scoring one run. However, that was all she wrote offensively as DuPage saw the Oilmen tie it up 1-1 in the fifth, then score four in the eighth to lockdown the 5-1 victory. Despite only scoring one run, the Hounds did outhit the Oilmen ten to six. It was a lack of timely hitting that ended up stunting DuPage’s run total. Hounds’ pitching was also good as they only allowed a total of ten base runners and struck out six. Fortunately for the Hounds, they still have a few chances to secure the top spot in the MCL playoffs. All DuPage has to do is win one game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the last place Southland Vikings.
Zac Taylor was back in the lineup after a few games off where he reclaimed his usual leadoff spot. He went two for five with a single and double, pushing his average up to a team’s best .395. Dustin Krob continues to stay hot in the top third of the Hounds’ batting order as he also went two for five, but with two singles.
With Taylor’s return, Joe Duncan slid down into the three hole for the first time this season where he reached base three times on two walks and a single. Ryan Fitzgerald continues his late season dominance as he went two for five with a single and double.
Richie Gorski reached base once in his four at bats on a single. Matt Wollnik drove in the only Hounds’ run of the game that came on a dropped third strike play. He also reached base once in his other three trips on a single.
DuPage’s ace Tom Concklin took the ball to start the game. He was phenomenal in his three short innings of work in which he allowed no runs on three hits while striking out two. Preston Miracle took over the next three innings where he too was dominant. He surrendered only one run on no hits while striking out two. Finally, the Oilmen handed Joe Palasiewicz the loss after they scored four runs off of him on three hits in his final two innings of work.
For NWI, Tyler Sroczynski was the only Oilman to have a multiple hit day as he went two for three two singles and a RBI. He also reached base a third time on a walk. Despite having only one hit, Alec Olund did the most damage out of any NWI batter as he hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Donovan Chandler, Fred Smart and Brian Seymour each recorded a single in the ball game.
Christian Howell did a fantastic job of silencing the Hounds’ offense through his five innings of work. He allowed only one run on five hits while striking out three. The NWI relievers did an even better job of shutting down the DuPage bats as Richard Yelnick threw the sixth and seventh and allowed no runs on four hits. Finally, Hunter Clark locked down the eighth and the ninth after allowing no runs on one hit.
The final day of the Hounds’ regular season will be Thursday, July 30th against the Southland Vikings. Thursday will be a doubleheader with the first game starting at 3:00 PM (CT). The Hounds lead the season series five games to two.
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