Hounds Slaughter Orioles 12-0 in 5 innings

The Hounds were in dire need of an easy win. So they took extra batting practice before the game and started Matt Burch (#6, P) on the hill–he had a complete game win against the Yankees on 5/17, the only Hound win so far on the season.

Mike Mudd (#29, RF) turned down family time with the grandparents because of the need for the win. The Hounds are very happy to have him back after a season away from baseball.

Burch mowed the new-to-the-CMBA Orioles down with a quick 1-2-3 first inning, and then the Hounds took the game over as the Orioles pitcher simply could not find the strike zone. Matthew Steffens (#5, SS) walked on 4 straight pitches. Nolan Bielinski (#4, C) then dropped down a perfect bunt for an infield single. Proud papa Brent Schoenbach (#7, 3B) walked to load the bases. TJ Rinaldi (#1, CF) worked a full count and then he walked too, for an RBI for the first Hound run of the game. Mudd grounded to short and reached on an error for another RBI. Brian Hearns (#30, 1B) also walked for an RBI, and then Joe Wietecha (#19, EH) took the angry, cursing pitcher’s wrath with a fastball to his back, a HBP for yet another non-hit RBI in the inning.

Up 4-0 with no outs, Mudd then inexplicably tried to steal home when the ball bounced just a few feet in front of the plate on a wild pitch. Bad read, but great result, as he slid under the tag for a 5-0 lead. His shirt may need some mending, however.

Max Kiefer (#21, LF) also walked to load the bases again, Tony Correa (#13, 2B, pronounced “Korea,” just like the country) grounded out for an RBI, and then Steffens got up again for an infield single and an RBI. The Hounds led 7-0 without a single ball being hit out of the infield!

Burch then got out of the second inning with a 6-4-3 double play, with a great turn by Correa at 2nd, and the Hounds were up again to score 4 more runs in the 2nd, with a Winnemac Hop (W.H.) single by Schoenbach, walk by Rinaldi, fielder’s choice by Mudd, walks by Hearns and Anthony Camacho (#14, DH), RBI for Camacho. Wietecha walked for another free RBI, and then Kiefer got the first legit line-drive single to the outfield for yet another RBI. Correa followed with a line-drive sacrifice fly, and the Hounds were up 11-0.

Burch did it all himself in the 3rd, with 2 strikeouts and 1-6 assist to Steffens at 2nd base. The Hounds went quietly in the bottom of the third as well (save a W.H. by Bielinski), as the Orioles turned a nice double play.

In the 4th inning Burch picked off an Oriole baserunner at 2nd base as Steffens used his “nimble feet” (Mudd quote, his other quote was “you were not lined up for the cut, sir!”) to sneak behind the runner. Steffens then made a nice play on a slow grounder, getting called (perhaps sarcastically?) a “gazelle.” Sarcastic or not, at 44 years old, I will take even mocking compliments.

The Hounds needed to either win by 15 in the 4th or 12 in the 5th, so the Hounds needed just 1 more run to give the Orioles only 1 more at bat. And Mudd predicted: “I am going to hit a home run.” And he did exactly that, with a towering shot over the left fielder’s head. He ran so hard around the bases that he probably could have made it to second base again before the ball got there.

Burch pitched a fine 5th inning and Correa ended the game with a great stab at second base, throwing to Eduardo “Soleto” Sotelo (#25, 1B) for the final out of the game.

Overall, an easy breezy win for the Hounds, and they needed it.

Sponsor bar K’s Dugout cooked the team and their fans brats, and all was good.

Hounds get reprimanded at Outback

The Chicago Hounds are now 1-4 after losing 7-1 to the Marlins at SW Park.  As catcher Nolan Bielinski aptly said, “I’d like to say ‘good game,’ but . . . (it wasn’t).”

Highlight of the game came at the Park Ridge Outback, where the Hounds were given a verbal warning by the manager at Outback for being too loud and using a profanity.  In the bar.  But, as she said, “we have children here.”  And they did.  In the bar.

Hounds lose 3-2 in extra innings

Another disappointing walk off loss for the Hounds tonight at the gorgeous turf field at Columbus Park (under the lights), this time v. the Browns, and in extra innings to boot.

 
Great game, simply superb pitching from rookies Matt Burch (#6), Tim Riggenbach (#8), and the newly engaged Jeremy Schmitz (#3).  In the middle of the game the umpire asked Manager Matthew Steffens–“where did you get all of these solid pitchers this year? great recruiting!”  Schmitz in particular made some of the Browns batters look like Little Leaguers, never good when you completely bail out on a pitch in fear that turns out to be a strike!
 
Great defense by the Hounds as well, particularly from the infielders with key plays from Keith Richardson (#17, 1B) (multiple scoops, great assist), rookie Harold Honeyman-Bloede (#40, 2B) (diving play, amazing coverage of first on a 3-4 putout), and Steffens (#5, SS) (full out diving play on a line drive and multiple assists).
 
And the Hounds — as always, just crazy how this works each and every year (remember Josh Stahl, Chris Lawton, Marc Anderson, Jim McArthur, and Lucas McKinney, among others) — again, simply have the best catcher in the league–this time with rookie Nolan Bielinksi (#4, C), who had 3 assists–picking off a runner at first, gunning a would-be base stealer at second, and throwing another runner out at second on a bunt.  In addition, Nolan proved so strong at the plate that he got a rare intentional walk late in the game.
 
Overall a bummer since it was a loss, but the Hounds showed that they have an excellent team in 2015 as they went toe-to-toe with last year’s CMBA champs.
I cannot find the book/scorecard, so I cannot do a full write-up (this is all from memory), but suffice it to say, the Hounds played a fantastic game, just came up short, and look to even their record with a sweep of a doubleheader v. the Yankees this Sunday May 17 at Winnemac Park.  Game 1 is at 9:30 am, Game 2 is at 12:15 pm, see you there!