By Andrew Mild
The Lake County Corn Dogs held the NWI Oilmen to just one run behind the pitching of “player of the game” Frank Plesac Saturday at Legacy Fields in Crown Point, winning 5-1.
The Corn Dogs blanked the Oilmen 5-0 in their season home opener on Thursday. With Friday’s game postponed due to the weather, the Corn Dogs will go for the series sweep today (Sunday).
The Corn Dogs scored twice in the third and the fourth innings, the big hit coming from center fielder Austin Ridgeway with a two-RBI double into left field to give his team a comfortable 4-0 lead.
“He smoked the ball down the line. That was a big hit for us,” Corn Dogs Manager Justin Huisman said.
Heading into the seventh inning, the Corn Dogs had gone 22 innings without allowing a run. The Oilmen broke through when Jason Hodges drove in David Marshall, who had a lead-off triple.
Oilmen loaded the bases in eighth and ninth innings, but could not capitalize in those situations, as Ryan Troxel picked up a huge strikeout to end the eighth.
“That just shows signs of mental toughness of battling through, and if we continue to do that we’re gonna have a good season,” Huisman said.
In the ninth, left fielder Scott Hansen made a phenomenal diving catch in foul territory to end the game and give the Corn Dogs their second victory of the season.
Huisman was again impressed with the effort his young ball club put on the field, but acknowledged they need to clean up their defense.
“We’ve made a few errors last couple of games and part of that’s due to the field being kind of soft and balls bouncing around,” Huisman said. “It’s a beautiful brand new surface, but the sod just takes some time to settle.”
He added that the team is really feeding off the enthusiasm of the Corn Dogs fans, who once again packed Legacy Fields.
“It was only the third game and there’s still a lot to learn about each other, but we’re having a lot of fun,” he said.
Gates open Sunday at 1:30 p.m., with first pitch at 3 p.m. Legacy Fields is located at 851 Center Ross Road, Crown Point.
Game photo by Josh Brunette