By: Thomas Gorski
Aurora, Ill. – August 2, 2020 – DuPage County kept on rolling as they defeated the Southland Vikings, 9-8, at Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, Illinois.
The Hounds improved to 18-7 with the victory as the Vikings dropped to 14-13 on the season.
DuPage County snuck out with a victory today as they scored 9 runs with only 6 hits to take down the Vikings which included the walk-off home run by Kevin Garcia (Concordia-Chicago / Chicago, Ill.) in the bottom of the 9th. Bryce Burton (Rock Valley CC / Sugar Grove, Ill.) helped give the Hounds the win with an impressive performance at the plate, he went 2-3 with a homerun, single and 3 RBI’s.
“We came in a little bit slow legged, we had a show and go game today and the energy wasn’t there, I credit that to myself and I didn’t provide the necessary energy to pump up the boys today.” Manager Ben Caple said. “Ultimately, they figured it out down the line and came up with some clutch hits and got the win.”
DuPage County starter Westin Stutzman (Concordia-Chicago / Goshen, Ind.) struggled today as he allowed 9 hits and 6 earned runs in 5 ⅓ innings. After Stutzman was pulled, the Hounds bullpen was effective again as they allowed zero earned runs in 4 innings of work. Daniel Brannigan (Dominican University / Lemont, Ill.) threw 3 ⅓ scoreless innings and was eventually replaced by JohnLuca Moschetto (Benedictine University-Mesa / LaGrange, Ill.) to finish up the top of the 9th inning.
DuPage County’s offense didn’t show up today as they recorded only 5 hits heading into the bottom of the 9th. That was until first basemen Kevin Garcia (Concordia-Chicago / Chicago, Ill.) stepped into the batter's box. Garcia swung at the first pitch he saw, launching a no-doubt home run to left field to walk it off and seal the Hounds victory over the Vikings in dramatic fashion.
“I went down looking at a few fastball's in my previous at bat, I figured the pitcher was going to attack me with a fastball thinking I wouldn't be ready for it.” Garcia said. “I’ve always been taught to stay aggressive on the first pitch of the at bat and I got what I was looking for.”
“When I saw the ball leave the bat, I was like hell yeah, that ball is way out of here.” Said Manager Ben Caple. “Garcia has been misfortunate, he has been the one guy on our squad that has consistently hit balls hard but gone right at people. He’s going to break out of his shell and have those couple bleeders, little Texas Leaguer’s and the baseball gods are going to pay dividends for him.”
DuPage County will be back in action Monday, August 3 as the Hounds take on the MCL Minutemen at Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, Illinois starting at 5:00 P.M. on the MCL Minutemen Broadcast Network, fans can watch the game via Facebook Live.
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