[NOTE: The following writeup was submitted simultaneously by Matt Burch]
Tuesday night the Chicago Hounds (12-13) fell 2-1 against the Southwest Marlins at Southwest Park. Future Hounds manager Tony “I’m the manager, what I say goes” Correa got a taste of what it’s like to control the helm in a rare Matthew Steffens absence. The game was called by first-time-seen-by-the-Hounds umpire, Lieutenant Brian Stevens (USMC 41st Battalion) – who I personally believe did a nice job.
On the mound, the always dangerous Andrew LaLuz faced off against beltless wonder, Mike DiCola in what proved to be a classic pitcher’s duel. The difficulty of getting working “adults” to Southwest Park by 5:50pm on a weekday night was apparent in the fact that both teams featured only 9 players. The lack of depth did not appear to have an effect on the gameplay, which was mostly clean.
Hounds’ MVP of the game, DiCola, was strong on the mound in what may have been his best pitching performance with the club. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits with 4 strikeouts. He also contributed with the bat, getting what may have been the only clean hit allowed by LaLuz.
The Hounds’ defense was overall solid, highlighted by LF Tim Riggenbach cutting down the Marlins leadoff hitter at second attempting to stretch a single down the line, and a particularly slick Kruse, to Kerrigan to Burch 5-4-3 double play. The only Hounds error proved irrelevant as the beneficiary could not circle the diamond before the Hounds’ collected the third out of the inning.
2018 CMBA Cy Young winner LaLuz sparkled on the mound, going the distance and allowing 1 unearned run on 7 walks and 2 hits (6 k’s). In the end, the Hounds proved unable to get the big hit needed to win the game, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th and (what felt like) a total of 23 “men” on base throughout the contest.
Other notable highlights include:
No balls travelling further than 270 feet, a rarity in the suburban bandbox that is Southwest Park;
Umpire Lieutenant Brian Stevens (USMC 41st battalion) becoming the first man to make DiCola wear a belt since Mike’s father dressed him before his first communion in 1999 (this came at the request of Marlins first baseman). In DiCola’s subsequent at bat, the Lieutenant also made DiCola retuck his shirt;
Post game playa TJ Rinaldi unsolicitedly receiving bartender Sammie’s number, delivered by our server.
We hope to see you next time, folks.