Hounds win, now 14-7

The Chicago Hounds and Chicago Cubs both won 7-2 tonight, but while it took the MLB club 15 innings to secure the victory, the Hounds managed it in only 7, beating the Vikings decisively at Taft High School. The prior 2 contests v. the Vikings were close, both won in the bottom of the final inning, but today the Hounds dominated throughout. The Hounds are now 14-7, matching their win total from 2015 with 9 more games to go in the regular season.
Brian Hearns (#30, P/1B) ate up 6.2 valuable innings tonight, and should have had a shutout victory were it not for an ill-timed error by yours truly in the final frame. The Hearns is on vacation for the next few games, so he gave it all it had and the Hounds needed every bit of it.
The Hounds were a bit shorthanded tonight, as several regulars are hurt, 2-3 players are on the permanent disabled list, and some Hounds were simply unable to make this rainout reschedule, including TJ Rinaldi, who missed his first game of the year, and Nolan Bielinski, who missed only his 3rd. So we were pleased to have Keith Kerrigan (#10, CF) out for his second game as a Hound, and he played a fine outfield (including a great catch in the final inning) and walked twice.
Despite all of the missing players, the remaining Hounds–including a hurt Stephen Correa Jr., who showed up to be the 9th/10th, just in case we needed guys, and kept a great scorebook–were able to score enough to keep the Vikings at bay. Mike Marra (#15, RF) and Kurt Kerrigan (#12, 2B/P) both had triples in the game, Keith Richardson (#17, 1B/2B) was hit by a pitch, stole a base, scored, and was picked off by at least 5 feet (but ump Chris Loy missed the play). Marra was picked off first base as well (but his was actually a recorded out). So, the Hounds will have a baserunning clinic before the playoffs, probably taught by Professor Daddy Burch, as he leads by example. (Yes, that is at least a double pun.)
The Hounds defense was pretty solid despite the field conditions–as Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) called it prior to the game, the infield at Taft was playing like a parking lot with dust on it. The mound was awful, making Hearns’ 6.2 innings all the more remarkable. Tony Correa (#13, C) caught a fine game in Nolan’s absence, and Tony’s father (also named Tony Correa, but *not* a Sr., and our Tony is *not* a Jr.) is now 4-0 in attendance this year–clearly Tony’s dad needs to get to more games!
Max Kiefer (#21, LF) hit the ball hard today, Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) squeaked out an infield hit and stole third base when the pitcher inexplicably pitched from the lineup, but we had no pickles, no water from TJ, and the DJs were terrible as most innings were completely without music, and we had no Taylor Swift. All in all, a solid win, but we can clearly do better with the intangibles.
The Hounds have two games v. the 12-2-1 Aviators this weekend–both games are at 930 am, both games are at Winnemac. Hope to see you there!