Yesterday the Chicago Hounds had: (1) won 4 games in a row, (2) qualified for the playoffs, and (3) captured K’s Cup, so they were probably due for a letdown game at Walther Christian v. the Orioles today, and the O’s took advantage, defeating the tired Hounds 7-1.
Alec Reinke (#14, P) threw 5 innings on the hill today and he actually had quite a few pitches working, especially offspeed, and he struck out 6 in the 5 frames. But the O’s bats were finding all of the open space in the outfield, between players, down the line, back in the gap, back down the line, in front of players, over players, just so many hits to spots where the fielders had no chance.
The Hounds’ highlight of the game was a scoreless inning by Phil Zelenka (#24, P) who had hurt his arm early in the season. Zelenka featured his submarine style of pitching from high school, to great effect, facing only 4 batters in his 1 inning. (The sole hit off Zelenka was a double as the batter said “get that $hit out of here” as he hit it, so there was that, take that as you will.) Brian Lehman (#2, P) then threw a scoreless final inning, as 3 of the 4 Charlie’s pitched today (while the 4th, Arron Kruse [#11, LF] locked his keys in his car). The defensive highlight was a nice catch by Justin Thornton (#9, 2B) on a fly foul ball in short right field.
The sole Hound run came in painful fashion as Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) was hit in the back by a Billy Balatsos fastball, right on a cluster of shingles sores. Steffens then reached second on a passed ball, third on a wild pitch, and then Matt Burch (#6, 1B) singled him home with an RBI. Burch had 2 singles on the day, and Brent Schoenbach had the only other Hound hit (also a single). 3 hits was simply not enough today. And it was a HOT one at Walther today, as Brent said (paraphrasing), somehow the field there just sucks the life and intensity completely out of you.
The Hounds have 2 more regular season games: Trojans at Winnemac on Tuesday and Vikings at Taft on Wednesday, and then the Hounds will play in the one-game playin game on Saturday (time and location TBD).