June 19, 2023

Corn Dogs Outlast Panthers, Move to 13-4 on the Season

By Noel Fary

The Lake County Corn Dogs squeezed a hard fought victory out against the Indiana Panthers 1-0 in a game where shutdown pitching and dramatics made up for a lack in overall offense.

In a game that could be best described as a staring contest, neither team saw a run cross home plate until the ninth inning. It all came down to who would make the first mistake.

Check out the box score from the game.

Gavin Gallagher returned to the mound for the Corn Dogs and did not disappoint, pitching four innings with five strikeouts, no walks and no runs allowed. Even advancing into scoring position was hard for the Panthers facing Gallagher.

The Corn Dog’s entire pitching staff fed on this momentum and pitched a complete-game shutout, with Ivan Balboa and Adam Walters finishing the game off. Manager Justin Huisman is more than confident in his arms on the mound no matter the place in game.

“We’ve got a handful of guys who are starting to build back up,” Huisman said. “They’re all starting to hit their stride and throw two to three innings.”

Putting the bat on the ball was not necessarily the issue for the Corn Dogs, as each of the top five players in the batting order gathered at least one hit. Stringing together those hits proved difficult as Panthers starter Jaden Jones pitched eight scoreless innings with only one walk.

As the game approached the bottom of the ninth, tensions were at an all-time high in the ballpark. It was a day of festivities and support in Crown Point, and the crowd was on the brink of an explosion.

Hayden Matulich took his stance, having already collected one hit on the day. Panthers reliever Brenden Meyers delivered a pitch that hung a bit too much in the strike zone, and the only thing on Matulich’s mind was giving this crowd something to cheer about.

With a deafening crack of the bat, Matulich sent the final pitch of the game into a different area code, and everyone in the park knew it. One swing of the bat ended the ball game and earned Matulich the Macron Player of the Game.

“In my lifetime I’ve never hit a walk off homerun,” Matulich said. “I thought that was a perfect situation we’ve got a great crowd, love the fans here.”

Photo by Josh Brunette


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