Hounds defeat Browns 4-3 at Winnemac

The Hounds won 4-3 today, defeating the 2014 CMBA champion Browns at Winnemac Park. Was it the batting practice before the game? Having Matt Burch on the mound? Mike Mudd’s pre-game inspirational speech that ventured into chaos theory? Whatever it was, Hounds win!

Matt Burch (#6, P, 3-0), was simply outstanding, getting his (and the Hounds’) third win on the 2015 campaign. Burch gave up 2 in the first, and a single run in the 5th, but held the Browns scoreless in the other 5 innings. Burch saved his best stuff for last, striking out the side in the 7th inning for the win.

The Hounds were fantastic on defense. Three Hounds made plays at 2B–including Kyle Hanson (#2, 2B), who had to leave the game after throwing his arm out of his arm socket on a double play attempt. Literally. Threw his arm out of his socket, then put it back in himself. Keith Richardson (#17, 1B/2B) filled in for Hanson, making a few plays at 2B, and then returned to 1st. Then Tony Correa (#13, 2B) came in to make 2 plays at 2B as well. Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) had 5 assists and a putout at shortstop, and Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) had 4 plays at the hot corner. In addition, Patrick Stacy (#16, CF) filled in for TJ Rinaldi (#1, at a wedding or something), as the Hounds had a rare CF other than the staple Rinaldi who has probably missed only 10-15 games in the past 9 years. Stacy made a diving catch and also tripled in the game, and then Stacy introduced the Hounds to a ringer pitcher who may be facing the Marlins on Thursday. Quick side note on the defense, with Jack Deichl (#31, LF) in left field, the Hounds had an all-Libertyville starting outfield.

The Hounds’ top of the order did all of the scoring. In the 4th inning, down 2 runs, Tim Riggenbach (#8, DH, after hurting his arm in warmups), tripled to lead off the inning. Schoenbach then singled, driving in Riggenbach. Schoenbach stole second, and then Mike Mudd Jr. (#29, RF/LF) tripled onto the running path in deep right field, close to the driver’s ed instructor who was yelling at his driver’s ed students throughout the game. Mudd’s RBI drove in Schoenbach, and the game was tied 2-2. Richardson then singled, driving in Mudd and the Hounds led 3-2.

The Browns tied the game in the 5th, and the Hounds came to bat in the 6th with the score 3-3. Riggenbach continued his hot hitting with a double. Riggenbach has only 8 plate appearances on the 2015 season, but has a single, a double, and 2 triples, for an insane OPS of 1.750. Schoenbach then sacrificed Riggenbach to third–a key play in the game, and Mudd singled him home for the game winning RBI.

Burch then shut the Browns down in the final frame, striking out the side. Hounds win 4-3, and are now 3-5-1 on the young season.

The Hounds play the Aviators on Tuesday (Winnemac), the Marlins on Thursday (Winnemac), the Orioles Saturday (Ridgewood), and the Electrons next Sunday (Winnemac). With 4 games in 6 days, we will get a chance to see just how good the Hounds team is this year.