By Andrew Mild and Jim Masters
The Lake County Corn Dogs trounced the Chicago American Giants 12-1 in front of a packed house at Legacy Fields Friday night. The Corn Dogs are now 27-9 and still atop the Northern League standings.
Lake County started the game with the six-foot-ten right hander Peyton Olejnik, who made his first start since July 7. Olejnik pitched three innings, allowing three hits and striking out eight.
Left-hander Jacob Bosse then pitched three innings, with eight strikeouts of his own. Between the two, the Corn Dogs struck out 16 American Giants through six innings. Crown Point Bulldog Dylan Matusak would tack on three more strikeouts in two innings of work to then tie the franchise record of 19 team punchouts.
In the ninth, Brock Bevil and Bevil notched strikeouts number 20 and 21, most on the tam. The American Giants could only muster one run and three hits, all in the first.
The fourth inning was when the Dogs finally broke through. After Scott Hansen and Gavin Terry got on base with no outs, Jacob Deel hit a ball into center that got past centerfielder Josh Williams for two runs to score.
The Corn Dogs would score another run from Cal Curiel, but the big hit was capped off by Hayden Matulitch blooping one down the line for two more runs to make it a five-run half inning.
The sixth was the nail in the coffin for Chicago. With Terry’s second double scoring in Hansen, and another double from Bret Matthys to trade places with Terry, the Dogs were off to a good start. Matulitch battled with Anthony Scanlon to get into a full count, and an inside-fastball would leave the bat of Matulitch and put the crowd into a frenzy. It was 9-1 Corn Dogs.
Three more runs were tacked on in the seven and that would end the scoring for either side with the final coming in at 12-1 for the deep fried Dogs.
The win for the Dogs gives them a 27-9 record which gives them half a game on the second place team. Their magic number has been trimmed down to three for a playoff spot, and nine for a regular season championship.
“This was the largest crowd I’ve ever played in front of.” Matulitch said. “It was really something special tonight.”
A large group from Bishop Noll High School’s football program helped pack the stands. It was a big night for the organization as well as the team.
Macron Player of the Game was an easy decision: Superman Hayden Matulitch. Matulitch went 3-4 in the game with his second home run of the season plus a Northern League season high six RBIs. He tied teammate Roman Kuntz and Southlands Kyle Fenner for most in a game this year.
Lumber comes out in Whiting
The Corn Dogs were riding high going into Friday’s game, having bested the NWI Oilmen the evening before, 11-8 in Whiting.
Against the Oilmen, the Corn Dogs (27-9) just kept scoring, posting runs in the final five innings — exactly two runs in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Trailing 9-4, the Oilmen scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 9-8. The Corn Dogs got two back in the top of the ninth to stretch the lead back to three.
The Corn Dogs are back at home Tuesday and Wednesday next week at Legacy Fields in Crown Point. Check our schedule for upcoming games. You can purchase tickets on CornDogsBaseball.com