French, Cantor Shutdown Vikings

Hounds hurlers Colin French and Jules Cantor held the Vikings to 1 hit for the 11-0 shutout victory in a Thursday night game up north in Skokie.

Despite giving up an elder-abusing HBP in the first, the starter dominated on the small diameter mound, notching 10 strikeouts in 103 pitches of work.

The Hounds tacked on their first (only needed) run in the second inning, when Phil “O”weimrin (EH) provided a 2-out RBI. After a silent Vikings half, they’d bat around the order to put the game into a comfort zone. The top of the order popped a pair of singles, and the heart of the order popped a pair of doubles, with Kruse (3B) learning to avoid a thieving centerfielder (who earlier stole multibase hits from him and Lehman (1B)). Next, Riggenbach (RF) and Bandi (LF) each drove in a run with singles, and capping off the inning, Correa (C) sliced a single, scoring two and giving the Hounds a 8-0 lead. In the 3rd, the Vikings lead-off hitter (and reigning CMBA MVP) tried to single-handedly break the shutout, attempting to convert a 2-out no-no-spoiling single into a steal of every base. Although he successfully took second and third, an attempted steal of home result in the final out of the inning, the battery preserving the clean sheet with a quick turn dart and tag. The same player would later go on to pull a major boner in the sixth, wasting a lead-off walk with a pop-fly double play. Greg “Big Brain” Sells (SS) let the pop-fly drop, tossing the ball to second for a force-out and a toss over to first completing the doubling up of the not-running batter. Inducing that pop fly was Jules Cantor, making his first pitching appearance since May 21 and his longest relief effort of 2023. The “Bonesnapper” contributed a clean 2 innings, facing the minimum number of batters. The seventh saw a Bandi (LF) liner turn into a trip to second, stopping briefly for a few pitches before a wheeling and a Oweimrin dealing gave Bandi the opportunity to swipe home on a productive groundout. Cole Thompson (EH) drove the final nail with a deep RBI triple.

The Hounds broke out of an offensive stymy to get a win, improving their record to 12-5. They take on the dangerous Dodgers on Sunday morning at – checking notes – Winnemac.