Although the Hounds were able to erase an early 7 run deficit, they could not hold on in a cold opening day at Simeon Career Academy, dropping the 2022 opener 9-8 to the Dodgers
Starting on the mound was the reigning Houndie Cy Young winner Mike Dicola. After giving up a first-pitch-of-the season homer to the Dodger’s leadoff man, his struggles continued with control issues in the first inning. He gifted 5 free passes 5 five runs in the first before settling down in the second and third, only allowing 1 run in those subsequent innings. His relief came in the form of Hounds reliever Steve Szymanski, who buttoned down the Dodgers in the fourth inning.
But the Hounds bats came awake in the 5th inning, thanks to a familiar face. Following a lead-off walk, former “Mayor of Maywood Park” Hans Hetrick (DH) socked a deep drive over the left field fence to put the Hounds on the board. Following-up, sophomore Greg Sells (SS) hussled out a single and eventually scored on a sac fly by Brandon Jessee (CF). Freshman Pedro Rondón (2B) doubled in Arron Kruse (3B) who had reached on a walk, finishing up the 4-run Hounds fifth.
Szymanski quietly dismissed the Dodgers in the home half of the fifth, striking out 2 of 4 batters. Starting the Hounds half of the sixth, Phil Zelenka (EH, 1B) and skipper Tony Correa walked back-to-back, followed by freshly anointed “Alderperson of Chatham” Hans Hetrick reaching base on a forced an error on a hard ground ball. Stepping up to the plate with bases loaded, Brian Lehman (RF) knocked two of ’em in on a single to right, and freshman Japheth Bandi (RF) came up big to knock in two of his own to give the Hounds the lead. Legging out one of the runs was courtesy runner and new Hound Atticus Conway (CR).
The Dodgers and Hounds traded a quiet bottom sixth for top seventh. But in the bottom half of the seventh, the comeback would be taken back by the Dodgers after the Hounds simply ran out of gas. After a just-enough single, followed by consecutive HBP/BBs, a soft liner was all that was needed from the Dodger number 3 hitter to steal the game.
Riding the roller coaster with the Hounds were many new and familiar fans, including Pallavi (+ new candidate for Hound’s hound Chicky), wife Ariana Rondón, sweethearts Suzy and Emma (of Jessee and Japheth, respectively) and Big T and L Correa. Pedro and Ariana treated the team to post game tequeños which helped soften the blow of the loss.
All in all, the Hounds responded well to the big early deficit by a very good team and showed a lot of promise. However, a loss is a loss, surely disappointing motivational speaker Brandon Jessee who hates only two things in this world: the cold and losing, both of which he was subjected to. The Hounds look to get back in his good graces by bouncing back on Tuesday May 10th when they take on the Blazers at Winnemac Park.