Costly errors, walks, HBPs, and a lack of offense culminated in a 7-1 loss for the Hounds Thursday night at a dusty Winnemac Park, giving the Trons a 1-0 edge in the K’s Dugout series.
Alumnus Nick Freeman (P), who formerly made pitching appearances in 2015 and 2019, took the mound for the Hounds. He contributed 4 innings of work and held the Electrons to 3 runs and 3 hits. Alec Reinke (#14) provided relief and finished the game, keeping the Hounds in the game until the last inning when the Electrons tacked on 3 insurance runs.
On offense, Hounds were led by rookie Greg Sells (#19, SS), who provided the lone run and 3 of the team’s 5 hits, including a double. Matthew Steffens (#5, 2B), founder of the Hounds (thanks to a 2006 suggestion from none other than starting pitcher Nick Freeman), made another classic “never-say-safe” play at 2B, when, undeterred by dust or wonky base, was able to recover an assist from the shortstop to secure a force out to blunt an Electron’s offensive opportunity in the second. In the seventh, Arron Kruse (#11), resident hot-cornerist, made an incredible diving retrieval of a hard ground ball, preventing potential additional advancements of a runner in scoring position.
The Hounds made some overtures in the bottom of the seventh, getting two runners into scoring position on a Brian Lehman (#2, LF) walk and Garret Eddy (#17, CF) hot shot single, but could not capitalize before recording the third out.
K’s Dugout, a sponsor shared between the two clubs, provided post-game pizzas. Games 2 and 3 of the battle for K’s Cup will take place the weekend of July 10th. The Hounds will have a Saturday of rest before taking on the Browns at Maywood Sunday morning.