The Hounds were in dire need of an easy win. So they took extra batting practice before the game and started Matt Burch (#6, P) on the hill–he had a complete game win against the Yankees on 5/17, the only Hound win so far on the season.
Mike Mudd (#29, RF) turned down family time with the grandparents because of the need for the win. The Hounds are very happy to have him back after a season away from baseball.
Burch mowed the new-to-the-CMBA Orioles down with a quick 1-2-3 first inning, and then the Hounds took the game over as the Orioles pitcher simply could not find the strike zone. Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) walked on 4 straight pitches. Nolan Bielinski (#4, C) then dropped down a perfect bunt for an infield single. Proud papa Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) walked to load the bases. TJ Rinaldi (#1, CF) worked a full count and then he walked too, for an RBI for the first Hound run of the game. Mudd grounded to short and reached on an error for another RBI. Brian Hearns (#30, 1B) also walked for an RBI, and then Joe Wietecha (#19, EH) took the angry, cursing pitcher’s wrath with a fastball to his back, a HBP for yet another non-hit RBI in the inning.
Up 4-0 with no outs, Mudd then inexplicably tried to steal home when the ball bounced just a few feet in front of the plate on a wild pitch. Bad read, but great result, as he slid under the tag for a 5-0 lead. His shirt may need some mending, however.
Max Kiefer (#21, LF) also walked to load the bases again, Tony Correa (#13, 2B, pronounced “Korea,” just like the country) grounded out for an RBI, and then Steffens got up again for an infield single and an RBI. The Hounds led 7-0 without a single ball being hit out of the infield!
Burch then got out of the second inning with a 6-4-3 double play, with a great turn by Correa at 2nd, and the Hounds were up again to score 4 more runs in the 2nd, with a Winnemac Hop (W.H.) single by Schoenbach, walk by Rinaldi, fielder’s choice by Mudd, walks by Hearns and Anthony Camacho (#14, DH), RBI for Camacho. Wietecha walked for another free RBI, and then Kiefer got the first legit line-drive single to the outfield for yet another RBI. Correa followed with a line-drive sacrifice fly, and the Hounds were up 11-0.
Burch did it all himself in the 3rd, with 2 strikeouts and 1-6 assist to Steffens at 2nd base. The Hounds went quietly in the bottom of the third as well (save a W.H. by Bielinski), as the Orioles turned a nice double play.
In the 4th inning Burch picked off an Oriole baserunner at 2nd base as Steffens used his “nimble feet” (Mudd quote, his other quote was “you were not lined up for the cut, sir!”) to sneak behind the runner. Steffens then made a nice play on a slow grounder, getting called (perhaps sarcastically?) a “gazelle.” Sarcastic or not, at 44 years old, I will take even mocking compliments.
The Hounds needed to either win by 15 in the 4th or 12 in the 5th, so the Hounds needed just 1 more run to give the Orioles only 1 more at bat. And Mudd predicted: “I am going to hit a home run.” And he did exactly that, with a towering shot over the left fielder’s head. He ran so hard around the bases that he probably could have made it to second base again before the ball got there.
Burch pitched a fine 5th inning and Correa ended the game with a great stab at second base, throwing to Eduardo “Soleto” Sotelo (#25, 1B) for the final out of the game.
Overall, an easy breezy win for the Hounds, and they needed it.
Sponsor bar K’s Dugout cooked the team and their fans brats, and all was good.