By Andrew Mild
The countdown is on. As the Lake County Corn Dogs have inched their way closer to a playoff spot, it is only a matter of time until the secure post-season play.
Check out the box score on Pointstreak (Game 1) (Game 2)
The magic number for officially clinching a spot was two going into Monday’s double-header versus the Joliet Generals.
The Corn Dogs turned to Zach Beerling for his first start with the Corn Dogs. He flat-out dominated the Joliet Generals in game one. Beerling cruised through the seven innings, allowing three hits through the first six innings. He struck out three while issuing one walk to the Generals lineup.
It was just the second complete game shutout of the season for the Corn Dogs, with the only other one coming from Rex Stills in Joliet on June 1. Beerling earned the honors of Macron Player of the Game.
The Corn Dogs had a huge third inning that set them up for the win. The biggest hit came from Hayden Matulitch, who scorched the ball down the left field line to clear the loaded bases to give the Corn Dogs a three-run lead. The Generals would plunk the next three hitters and allow three runs to score. The Corn Dogs went up 6-0 and that would be the final for game one.
Game two was a flip of game one with the Generals jumping to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. They tacked on another run in the third to make it 3-0. The Corn Dogs came back in the fourth with a runner on second, and Carter Sakamoto hit a double into left center to make the score 3-1.
Joliet would score a run in the fifth and then a pair in the sixth. They cruised into the seventh inning up 6-1. The Corn Dogs would get three hits in the inning and score two runs, one from a fielder’s choice and another from a wild pitch.
With the tying run at the plate, Matulitch battled but flied out to end the game and give the Generals the 6-3 win and put them over .500 again. Carter Sakamoto. who went 2-3 with a double and an RBI, was named the Macron Player of the Game.
The Corn Dogs are 28-10 and are leading the Southland Vikings by four games in the Northern League standings. With the Crestwood Panthers beating the NWI Oilmen 10-6 on Monday, the Corn Dogs will get an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot in front of the home crowd Tuesday. First pitch is 7 p.m. versus the Chicago American Giants. The Dogs will play again at home Wednesday against the Panthers.
Purchase tickets at Corndogsbaseball.com/tickets.