By Andrew Mild
What a final week of June for the Lake County Corn Dogs! They played five games in five days, with the final two on the road in ballparks where they had struggled. Not this time around.
The Corn Dogs played on Military Appreciation Night Friday against the NWI Oilmen in Whiting, a day after their 24-0 beatdown of the Vikings. The Corn Dogs jumped out first after Jake Ferry scored all the way from first on a single and an error. Lake County tacked on two more, with the second run coming from an exciting play at the plate that scored Colin Small. The three runs came against Oilmen ace Matt Lelito, who had a 2.04 ERA going into the start.
Lake County built onto their lead with four runs in the fourt,h with Ferry driving in two runners with one swing. He ended up withfour RB’s in the game against his former team. Doug Loden, who was tied for the Northern League home run record with seven, almost his number eight but was robbed by Oilmen right fielder Jason Hodges. It ended up going down as a sacrifice fly and gave Loden a baker’s dozen of RBIs for the week.
The Oilmen responded in the same frame, as the momentum started with Hodges hitting a no-doubt home run to make it 7-1. The Oilmen kept hitting the ball all over the yard, with four runs on four hits, including extra base hits.
The Corn Dogs bats stayed hot and scored a pair in the top of the sixth. The Oilmen got one from a sac fly into center field. That’s all the Oilmen would get for the rest of the game, as Bret Matthys and Loden combined for four shutout innings to set the Corn Dogs for the 11-5 win.
The Macron Player of the Game went to Matthys for his performance out of the pen. He pitched from the sixth to the eighth, allowing just one hit and one walk with no runs and striking out five, including four in a row. Matthys also induced an around-the-horn double play. His ERA is now a flat 3.00 and has sat down 15 hitters through strikeouts and just one walk this season.
The Corn Dogs remain hot and now have a record of 21-7. They have won eight of their last 10 games, which has helped build a five game lead for first place in the league. During this incredible fi-e game winning streak the Corn Dogs outscored their opponents 59-14.
The Dogs head into July, playing 17 games is the final full month of play for the season. The next game is July 5 at home against the Joliet Generals. First pitch is 7 p.m.