Hounds outslug Vikings on their way to Opening Day victory
By: Adam Johnson
The hot hitting that we saw the Hounds produce at the end of the 2015 season has seemed to carry over into the start of 2016 as the boys in blue and gold put up nine runs on eight hits in their Opening Day win against the Southland Vikings Thursday night. Despite being tagged for seven runs, the Hounds pitching also did an excellent job of getting batters out. Over the course of the nine-inning contest, DuPage’s trio of arms managed to strike out an impressive, 11 Southland batters.
Columbia University product, Joe Engel manned the leadoff spot in the first lineup of the year where he went two for five with two singles and a walk. He also drove in one of the Hounds nine runs. Javier Martinez, the RBI machine himself, was up to his old tricks, driving in one run after going one for four with a single and walk.
Mike Roberson was on cleanup duty out of the four spot where he went one for five with a base knock. The 2015 Midwest College League Catcher of the Year, Billy Hayes continues to produce as he recorded one base hit in his three at bats and drove in a run.
Tyler Tesmond also jumped in on the RBI parade as he drove in one after going one for four with a single. Zach Girard rounded out the end of the Hounds lineup where he went two for four with two singles and drove in a run in the process. He also reached base a third time via a walk.
The Hounds not only dominated with the bats, they decided to let their feet get in on the action as well as they stole a whopping 13 total bases on the day. Of those 13, Hayes recorded a team-best four while Engel and Girard both recorded three. Brandon Post also swiped two bags while Dane Toppel rounded out the 13 by gnabbing one.
Texas native Chase Lowman was named the Hounds 2016 Opening Day starter and he did not disappoint. Chase allowed just two runs on two hits over his five-innings of work in which he struck out seven. The Hounds then brought in veteran reliever Thomas Goodyear to throw the next two-inning where he surrendered three runs on four hits while striking out two. Newcomer Austin Lukaschewski locked down DuPage’s first save of the season as he came in to pitch the final two-innings of the contest where he gave up two runs on three hits while striking out two.
After an uncharacteristically down year for Southland in 2015, the Vikings came out swinging to prove to the rest of the league that they will be back in title contention for the 2016 season. Leadoff man Tyler Crussen went one for four at the plate with a single. Aaron Fuller followed him in the order where he went one for three with a base knock. Austin Blazevic and Raphe Gross each recorded a base hit that drove in one. Jailin McMillian and Nick Wheeler both recorded a team-high two RBIs in the contest. Greg Alexander rounded out the Vikings offensive production, going two for four at the dish with a single and a double that drove in a run.
The Hounds chased Vikings starter, Michael Shereyk off the hill after just four-innings of work in which he surrendered six runs on eight hits while striking out just one. However, Southland’s bullpen did a great job keeping them in the ballgame for the remaining five-innings. Mario Samuel threw the next four-innings where he allowed just two runs on no hits while striking out four, but walked four as well. Finally, Wade Davis threw the ninth where he was bit by one unearned run despite giving up no hits.
The Hounds next contest will be their home opener, Friday, May 27th at 5:00 pm at the Lemont High School Sports Complex against the Admirals of Joliet. We look forward to seeing you all there!
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