Hounds win, end May with a 5-2 record

The Chicago Hounds finally got to play today, after having their last 2 regularly scheduled games cancelled due to rain.  The Hounds were fresh and ready to take on the Pirates on a beautiful Memorial Day weekend at Walther Christian Academy (formerly Walther Lutheran).
Jeremy Schmitz (#3, P) took the hill for the Hounds in the bottom of the first after the Hounds failed to score in their first at bat despite two runners reaching safely.  Schmitz said he felt tight, but looked good in the first, striking out 2 Pirates.  The Hounds went down quickly in the 2nd.  Stephen Correa Jr (#20, EH) singled to right against the gale force wind blowing from right to left, but was picked off as the umpire missed the fact that the pitcher had balked.  2 quick Ks and Schmitz was back on the mound, but something was wrong–he quickly walked 3 batters, went 3-0 on the next, and said he couldn’t pitch any more–unfortunately, despite 2 surgeries to his labrum, he may have torn it again.
So, Matt Burch (#6, DH/P) took the mound with no outs, bases loaded, and Chris Wernick (former Hound, now a Pirate) up with a 3-0 count.  How did Burch respond?  By striking out Wernick, and then inducing an inning ending double play (Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) to Keith Richardson (#17, 1B)).  Huge, huge, huge moment by Burch.  Basically the worst position to face as a pitcher, and the fact that the Pirates scored no runs felt like a miracle.
Burch then led off the following inning with a walk, followed by a walk by Steffens, and then Garrett Eddy (#22, RF) strolled to the plate.  Rookie Eddy was quite late to the game, showing up just 5 minutes before game time.  In his first at bat he struck out, and there were rumors that he might have been a little worse for the wear.  But Eddy shrugged it all of, and he was not having it the second time, as he promptly hit an opposite field home run over the left field fence at Walther (Eddy is a lefty batter).  Hounds go up 3-0!!!  What a turnaround–bases loaded, nobody out, 3-0 count, and then just a few minutes later the Hounds have a decent lead.
The Pirate pitcher then settled down, allowing a double by Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) in between striking out the side.  In fact, in 8 outs in a row from the end of the 1st to the start of the 4th (except for the pickoff), the Pirate pitcher struck out 7 Hounds.
In the bottom of the 4th, Burch induced a groundout, hit a batter, gave up a single, but then the Hounds defense ended the inning with another double play, this time Steffens to Kyle Hanson (#2, 2B) to Richardson.  It was a close play at first, but Hanson’s strong throw definitely beat the runner.  After no scoring from the Hounds in the 4th, the Pirates threatened again after a leadoff double.  But Tony Correa (#13, C) then hosed the pinch runner trying to steal third!  After another hit-by pitch the Hounds defense rose to the occasion again, this time with a diving stab on a groundball by Schoenbach at third.
In the fifth inning Eddy walked, Richardson reached on a sharply hit ball to third that the official scorer called an error, and Eddy scored for the Hounds to go up 4-0.  Burch then held the Pirates scoreless in the 5th and then the Hounds closer (and very soon to be new dad) Kurt Kerrigan (#12, P) closed it out by facing only 1 over the minimum in the final 2 frames.  Hounds win, and a solid, solid win at that–all phases of the game were on today, Schmitz said after it might be the best all around Hounds game he has witnessed.
The Hounds have no games during the week, and return to the field next weekend with games against the Electrons (9:30 am Saturday @ Winnemac) and Orioles (10:00 am Sunday @ Ridgewood).
The Hounds had quite a few fans at the game today, keep on coming out, we hope to see more at future games!