The Chicago Hounds had a tough weekend on the diamond, with a floodout at Taft on Saturday, and then Winnemac was flooded out on Sunday as well. So the Hounds moved their game against the Orioles to Ridgewood High School, where they lost 9-3 due to one bad inning in the 3rd, when the Orioles scored 5 runs on at most 1 solid hit. The field conditions were tough, the wind was blowing something fierce, sending TJ Rinaldi’s (#1, CF) would be homers just foul in left, and making throws across the diamond tough. The infield grass at Ridgewood made the grass at Winnemac look trimmed, so the Hounds played essentially up on the edge of the infield the entire game. This style of play was necessary, as shortstop Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) had 11 chances at short, including a 6-6-3 double play. Unfortunately, he also failed at 2 of the 11 chances, including tripping on the lip of the grass on 1 occasion, giving the opposing coach his first “hit” of the year [Billy was begging his team to call it a hit], but our book has it as an error, which I agree with.)
Brian Hearns (#30, P, 1-1) took the loss on the hill, tossing a fine 6.1 innings before relinquishing the game to Joe Wietecha (#19, 2B/P). Hearns struck out 4 and gave up very few solid hits, most of the men reaching base were on soft singles, infield hits, errors, and walks. Hearns was hitting his spots, but unfortunately, the spots for strikes kept changing, as Scott the umpire was fairly inconsistent on the day. Perhaps it was the 3-hour drive from Three Oaks, Michigan that made Scott so unpredictable.
It was really nice that Hearns was able to pitch a few innings in front of his wife and young son (who will be pitching soon I am sure)–it was cold out there today, but he brought his own baseball, ready to go. Speaking of sons of Hounds, remember when Kyle Hanson (#2) met a girl on Tinder last year and said he was going to marry her? Well he did, and here is a pic of their son Holton Wade Hanson (they are calling him Holt):
Nolan Bielinski (#4, C) led the offense for the Hounds, reaching base safely all 4 times on a solid single and 3 walks. Bielinski also stole a bag and scored 2 of the 3 Hound runs. The final Hound run came from Stephen Correa, Jr. (#20, 1B/2B) who singled and scored as the Hounds tried to mount a 7th inning rally, but it was too late. Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) also had a fantastic day at the plate, also reaching all 4 times (an error–scoring Bielinski in the first, a HBP, and 2 singles), and Schoenbach drove in 2 runs in the final frame. Schoenbach also inexplicably was caught trying to steal third base with 2 outs in the first inning as he pulled a #KeithRichardson, leaving before the pitcher even had started. Schoenbach blamed himself for “setting the tone early” for the loss with that caught stealine.
Tony Correa (#13, EH) walked, Wietecha walked, Max Kiefer (#21, LF) had a scorching line drive (hardest hit ball of the day), reaching on an error and a single, and Matt Burch (#6, DH) took some cuts as designated hitter so we could save his arm for the game on Thursday. Steffens went 0 for 3 after reaching safely in his first 5 attempts on the year. The Hounds also saw the return of new college graduate Michael Mudd (#29, RF), who walked twice and caught two rumbling, stumbling, bumbling, rolling over balls in right field. The sightlines at Ridgewood are awful, as a huge white building looms behind the plate, so Mudd did well to make the 2 circus catches.
The Hounds have a makeup game on Thursday evening at Southwest Park in Park Ridge against the Marlins, so they look to even their record to 2-2 on Thursday and then celebrate (quietly) at The Outback Steakhouse.
Games scheduled = 5
Games played = 3
Wins = 1
Losses = 2
MBS McDonalds visits = 2 (yes, I went both times this weekend, as both days I went early to check on the fields only to find out that they were flooded)