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Hounds Closeout Regular Season with Two-Game Sweep of Southland; Clinch Regular Season Title in the Process

By: Adam Johnson
All the Hounds had to do was win one of the two games in the doubleheader in order to clinch the regular season title as well as home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. However, the boys from DuPage took it upon themselves to sweep both contests and enter the Midwest Collegiate League playoffs with a bit of a win streak. Even though Southland had nothing to play for, they gave the Hounds some trouble. The Vikings jumped out to an early lead in game one, but the Hounds battled through and ended up taking the ballgame 6-3. In game two, Southland held the lead all the way until the sixth inning until the Hounds rallied for two runs to win 5-4. DuPage played good ball from start to finish. Both wins were very Hounds-like in the sense that they didn't make any mistakes and every player simply did their job without any sort of hesitation. 
Game 1 vs. Southland Vikings
Zac Taylor got the ball rolling from the leadoff spot where he went two for four with two singles. The red-hot Dustin Krob hit out of his familiar two hole where he too went two for four, but with a single and a RBI triple.
MVP candidate Ryan Fitzgerald continues his MCL tear as he went one for four with a three run homerun. Shane Carrier hit out of the cleanup spot and went one for four with a single. 
Richie Gorski continues his hitting streak after going one for three with a single. The speedy Joe Duncan went two for three at the plate with two singles. He also stole his team-leading 22nd stolen base of the year. Utility man Gio Schmidt continues to be a huge part of DuPage’s success as of late thanks to his consistent bat and reliable glove. He reached base in all three plate appearances on two walks and a RBI single.
Before he moved to third base, Schmidt was handed the ball to start the game on the hill. He threw the first four innings in which he gave up three runs on four hits while striking out one. Joe Duncan trotted in from the outfield to throw the remaining three innings where he gave up no runs on two hits to grab his first save of the season. 
For Southland, Jordan Jackson went two for four with two singles and a RBI. Victor Garcia also recorded two hits in his three chances with a single and a double. Clark Brinkman reached twice on a walk and a triple. Jeff Cardenas also reached twice on a walk and a single. Cam Adams and Chris Pikoulas both drove in a run despite not getting a hit.
Jordan Young threw the first five innings for the Vikings and he was tagged for four runs on ten hits while striking out four. Trevor Henderson came on in relief to throw the sixth where he gave up two runs on one hit.
Game 2 vs. Southland Vikings
Ryan Fitzgerald decided to carry his power surge over into game two as he went a perfect two for two at the dish with a double and a booming two-run homer that exited via straightaway centerfield. Ryan Taylor reached base two times in his three chances on a single and double.
Billy Hayes continues his hot streak as he went one for two with the go ahead two-run double. He also reached base an additional time after being hit by a pitch. Matt Wollnik went two for three with a single, a double and two RBIs. Finally, Gio Schmidt reached base twice in his three plate appearances on a walk and a single.
Danny Riley took the mound to start game two, but was forced to leave after two innings do to a minor injury that he sustained on the base paths. In his two innings of work, Riley surrendered three runs on five hits while striking out two. Matt Wollnik was the first Hounds’ reliever to come on in relief where he gave up just one run on two hits while striking out two. Bobby Wenthe threw the fifth and the sixth and gave up no runs one no hits while striking out three. Finally, Emerson Misch came on to pitch for the first time this season where he notched his first save after allowing no runs on no hits.
For Southland, Jacob Lane was the only Viking to record a multi-hit game in game two after going two for four with a single and a double. Cody Haver was one for three with a two-run RBI double. Jeff Cardenas was one for three with a RBI double. Jordan Young drove in the final Viking run after going one for two with a single. 
Clark Brinkman went one for two with a double and Victor Garcia rounded out the Vikings’ seven hits after going one for two with a single.
Robert Nunn threw all six innings for Southland where he gave up five runs on eight this while striking out two. 
The Hounds next ballgame will be game one of the MCL semi-finals against either the Joliet Admirals or the Michigan City Lakers. DuPage’s opponent will be determined by late Thursday night. No matter whom they end up play, the game will be played Saturday, August 1st at 1:00 PM (CT) at the Lemont High School Sports Complex. 

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