The Chicago Hounds improved to 2-2 with a 14-7 victory over the short-handed Marlins at Southwest Park in Park Ridge last night. The Marlins–who were sporting a league leading 3-0 record going into the game, and had given up only 2 runs total in those 3 victories, had the minimum allowable 8 players for the Thursday night makeup game (replacing the rained out opener). The Hounds took advantage, with their best hitting performance of the year with numerous line drives and extra base hits aplenty.
Matt Burch (#6, P, 1-1) started the game on the bump and was stellar through the first 3 frames. Most importantly Burch selected the blue hat and blue jerseys for the game, as he said “because we look so good in them.” The Hounds took an early lead in support, scoring 9 runs in their first 4 times at bat. But the Marlins came roaring back in the bottom of the 4th, scoring 7 and driving Burch from the game after 3.1 innings. Kurt Kerrigan (#12, DH/P, 1 save) then finished the game with a strong 3.2 innings, including a scoreless 5th through 7th.
The Hounds defense was good at times, including turning a 3-6-1 double play to end the painful 4th, and they also had an interesting 3-4-1 single out at first as a ball deflected off of Stephen Correa, Jr. (#20, 1B) to Tony Correa (#13, 2B) (no relation, both not doctors) and Tony then threw to Kerrigan who was covering first (Kerrigan also had a nice scoop at first on the double play). But the Hounds also had some errors, including at least one (and costly at that) in the difficult 4th.
But the true story of the game (other than the Marlins only showing up with 8) was the Hound offense. Nolan Bielinski (#4, C) reached safely 4 times (2 walks, 1 single, 1 reach by error), stole a base, and scored 3 times. Matthew Steffens (#5, LF/SS) scored twice, had 2 RsBI, and stole 3 bases (including home on a double steal attempt). Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) reached safely all 3 times, on a single, double, and error, scoring twice and driving in a run on each of his 3 at bats. Tim Riggenbach (#8, LF) replaced Schoenbach in the lineup and walked, stole a bag, and scored. TJ Rinaldi (#1, CF) walked, doubled, tripled, drove in 3, and scored twice. Mike Mudd (#29, RF) doubled, walked, reached by an error, drove in 2 and scored a run (nearly 2 runs, but was called out at the plate on a close play). Joe Wietecha (#19, SS/3B) doubled twice and drove in 2 runs. Correa (Tony) singled twice, Correa Jr. (Stephen) scorched the ball 3 times, reaching twice on a single and a double, and scored twice. Finally Kerrigan doubled, scored, and walked. A total team offensive explosion.
A select few Hounds celebrated at Outback after the game, no rowdiness this year, and I finally remembered to use a gift card my brother Clay gave me a few years back for Christmas. Steaks for everyone! (Well, not really, Brent had fish for some reason.)
No McDonald’s for your trusty beat reporter this game!