The Chicago Hounds split a doubleheader v. the Orioles at Walther Christian Academy today. Both scores were 5-3, the second game (and the Hound victory) took 8 innings instead of the regular 7.
Former Hound Jake Tedlund got his 3rd win v. the Hounds with the victory in game 3. The Hounds scored 3 runs in the first (the first 3 batters all scored), but they never tallied another run in the rest of the game.
In the first inning Brian Lehman (#2, CF) reached by error (he reached safely all 4 times in Game 1), Mike DiCola (#28, EH/RF) walked, and Tim Riggenbach (#8, LF) singled to load the bases. Joe Johnston (#20, 2B) then got an RBI on a hit by pitch. Matt Burch (#6, 1B), who produces consistently this season without the ball leaving the infield, then hit what appeared to be a double play, but an errant throw allowed not just 1, but 2 runs to score (1 RBI on the play as you cannot “assume the double play” in scoring, which seems dumb).
Again, that was all the Hounds would manage on the day, despite Phil Zalenka (#24, DH) singling and walking, Lehman’s 3 reaches, Matthew Steffens (#6, SS) singling three times up the middle off of Jake, and John Lundgren (#34) reaching on a hit by pitch after fouling off 5 pitches after starting with an a 0-1 count after replacing Tony Correa (#13, C) after Tony literally fouled a pitch off of his own face. No one had ever seen that before. (Tony appears to be fine, but left the contest and did not return for game 2. “I’m the manager!”)
The Orioles scored 4 runs off of Alec Reinke (#14, P) in 2.2 innings, but all 4 were unearned as the Hounds gave up some timely and unfortunate errors. Reinke had 5 K’s o out of the 8 outs. Nick Schmidt (#23, P) then took over for the next 3.1 innings, and gave up only 1 run. Schmidt had 6 Ks in a row, but then walked 3 batters to lead off the 6th inning, so Burch temporarily took over, giving up only 1 run (attributed to Schmidt), getting 3 outs with the bases loaded while Schmidt played first base. Schmidt then returned to the mound and finished the 7th with 2 more Ks. But Orioles won 5-3 as the Hounds stranded Steffens and Lehman at 2nd and 3rd with no one out in the final frame.
In game 2 the Hounds struck early again. Lehman again led off with an E6 (he reached 7 out of 8 times on the day, which might seem pretty great, but Lehman actually reached safely 9 consecutive times earlier in the year), Arron Kruse (#11, 3B) also reached on an E6, as did TJ Rinaldi (#1, EH) and Lehman scored. Tough inning for the Oriole shortstop. (Tough day in both games for him actually.) Burch then singled, driving in Kruse.
Casey Peterson (#30, P) took the mound for the Hounds and pitched 3 solid innings, giving up only 1 unearned run. Ugh, the errors! Peterson struck out 3 in his 3 innings pitched. DiCola then pitched the final 5 innings for the Hounds win, giving up only 2 runs (1 was unearned again), striking out 4.
The score was 3-2 going into the 7th inning when Schmidt singled and stole second. Lundgren then smashed a line drive single to left-center, driving in Schmidt to tie the game and to give the Hounds another life.
In the 8th inning Lehman led off with a single and then Billy Balastos put himself back in the game to pitch, much to the chagrin of Kruse. Kruse had K’d against Balastos at the end of game 1 and going into game 2 had asked me: “Is he [Balastos] pitching game 2? Are you keeping me in the second spot in the lineup? Are you sure?” (Balastos ended up not starting game 2.) But it was just another example of the rest of the squad having more confidence in Kruse than he had in himself, as Kruse sharply doubled on the left field line as Lehman was stealing, scoring Lehman all the way from first to take the lead. Rinaldi then singled in Kruse for a Nationwide insurance run. DiCola then shut down the top 3 Oriole batters 1-2-3 and the Hounds had finally defeated the Orioles at a field other than Winnemac for literally the first time ever since the Orioles joined the league several years ago.
Big “T” Correa (Tony’s dad) brought “samiches and refreshments” for both the 10 minute break between games and the celebration after game 2, and the Hounds were allowed to drink the beer only because they had won game 2. Overall, a pretty good day. (Well, except for Tony’s right eye.)
The Hounds next play the Aviators on Wednesday at 5:50 pm at Winnemac. See you there!
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