07/19/2015 6:51 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – July 19, 2015 – The DuPage County Hounds may not have secured first place in the Midwest Collegiate League on Sunday afternoon at Oil City Stadium, but they took a big step toward doing so.
In a game that had a turning point feel, the Hounds rolled to a 5-1 triumph to build their lead to four games over the Oilmen and Snipes for the top spot in the Midwest Collegiate League.
“The Hounds are super classy and they go out and play really well,” Oilmen manager Adam Enright said. “Their infielders are great. Richie Gorski with his glove changed the game by himself. They don’t do anything to excite you; they don’t do anything flashy. They just play really solid.”
Keith Mahler (4-1) was hit with his first defeat of the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits in seven inning. Trent Carrier picked up the win for the Hounds, yielding three hits in five scoreless innings to improve to 1-1.
The Hounds plated two runs in the ninth inning to provide some breathing room for reliever Zac Taylor, who sent the Oilmen down in order in the ninth.
“We’re fine,” Mahler said. “We’re still in the playoffs. Of course you want to win, but two weeks from now is the only time that really matters.”
Tyler Sroczynski led off the bottom of the first in style by ripping a double down the left field line. He attempted to advance to third on a fly ball to center, but was gunned down by Joe Duncan for a double play.
“He tried to slide around the tag when the ball wasn’t even there yet,” Enright said. “He was trying to avoid (Gorski) without the ball. If he goes straight into third base, he’s safe.”
Another key moment in the game came in the fourth inning, when Joe Jumonville laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third with one out. Alec Olund and Sam Geraci were both retired on fly balls, as Carrier escaped the inning unscathed.
“That’s the pivotal point in the game,” Enright said. “If we score two runs there, the way you line things up is completely different. Brad Wood (pitches) the eighth and ninth if we’ve got the lead or we’re tied, but we weren’t going to run him out there with us losing.”
The only Oilmen run came in the seventh inning, as Geraci doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice bouncer by Donovan Chandler. Brothers Trent and Shane Carrier combined for five hits.
Richard Yelnick worked a scoreless inning of relief for the Oilmen, while Christian Sullivan was touched for two runs in the ninth.
The Oilmen (19-13) have a tall task if they wish to overtake the Hounds (24-10) over the final 14 games of the season. Northwest Indiana is also attempting to pull ahead of Lexington in the standings. The Snipes fell to Joliet on Sunday, so the two teams remain tied for second place.
The Oilmen have Monday off, before welcoming the Southland Vikings back to Oil City Stadium on Tuesday night at 7:10.