The Hounds, despite not wanting to win more than their opponents (according to their opponents), managed to hold on in regulation and stretch past the Browns in extra innings at Winnemac Sunday morning.
Alec Reinke ( #11) took the mound for the Hounds for his best start of the year. The junky pitcher limited scoring to 2 hits, 2 runs and holding walks and hits by pitch to only 1 a piece, despite a “tough but fair” umpire strike zone. Rookie Cole Thompson (#85, RF/P) came in for relief. The “tight end” (#85) made for a scoreless 4th and 5th before some control issues opened a window for the Browns to squeak back into the game in the 6th. Brian “Play Me at Every Position” Lehman (#2, 2B/SS/P) closed the game with a flawless 2.2 innings.
The Hounds stopped the Browns at 1 run in the top of the first on a Fukushima (#27, SS) to Sells (#19, 3B) line out double play. The patient Hounds regained the lead in the bottom half by converting two walks into runs on a Lehman line drive to center. In the following inning, seasoned veteran Hans Hetrick (#18, EH/2B) laid down a perfect safety squeeze to pad the lead 3-1, he later would add another run on a double over the center fielder. Mike “Sizzle” DiCola (#28, EH), the 2020 team Cy Young winner, also capitalized on an opportunity to hit by giving himself up for a sacrifice fly RBI. After some free bases turned into runs by both teams, the game became tied in the 6th. With the game tied and runners on first and second, a Browns batter hit a line drive single to right field, to the recently relieved pitcher Cole Thompson. Thompson then pitched a perfect strike to catcher Tony Correa (#13, C), snubbing out the greedy Browns runner attempting to advance two bases (the defensive gem also saved Thompson an earned run, as the runner was his). The Browns made some key blunders on the base paths in their next chance on offense, with a Lehman pick off on an attempted steal of third and a Correa toss out on an attempted steal of second (the second on the day for the catcher/manager, meeting and exceeding his vision board goals). The Hounds had a good scoring chance in the last inning of regulation with men on first and second and no outs. Amanda Mordacq (#84, EH), who made an emergency costume change to make up for roster shortfalls, laid down the bunt to move the runners over, but got a little too much on it, allowing a good defensive play to get the lead runner on a force at third. The scoring chance extinguished on a double play in the next at-bat. The Hounds defense came to play in the top of the 8th with a great run-through SS-1B ground out by Phil “Play Me at Every Position Except 3B” Zelenka (#21, EH/CF/SS), a not-trivial popup squeeze by Greg Sells in shallow foul territory, and a strikeout by the closer Lehman.
The Doggos made short order of the 8th. 2020 Team MVP Brian Lehman led things off with a bomb to center, fielded by the fourth outfielder (the very long grass) to hold him to a double. Cole Thompson finalized the day by raking a 0-2 shot to center field, easily scoring the runner from second. The Hounds, confused, mobbed both Lehman at home as well as Cole at second base. They finally made their return to sponsor K’s Dugout, after a too-long hiatus due to games on the road.
The game marked the second walk-off win for the Hounds, who improved their record to 4-5. They will take on DegenerateX Tuesday at Winnemac.