By Andrew Mild
The Lake County Corn Dogs headed up to Oil City Stadium in Whiting on Thursday for the third time in the past two weeks. The last two games were decided by one run, with two walk-off wins from the Oilmen. There would be no walk-off this time between the Corn Dogs and their rivals.
Check out our box score on Pointstreak
The Corn Dogs opened up their scoring with a solo blast from catcher Nicholas Johnstone, who crushed the ball over the left field wall. Scott Hansen helped with a hit into right field to drive in Danny Puplava, who returned to the lineup for the first time since May 28. Puplava went 2-3 with a walk in his return.
Hansen would drive in another Corn Dogs run on a fielder’s choice in the fifth to make it 3-0. The Oilmen’s Chris Baker would unload on an inside fastball to drive in two runs.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Cal Curiel came up and again delivered in the clutch. Curiel hit a high bouncer over third base into left field and drove a pair of insurance runs to make it 5-2. Hansen scored in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch.
Dylan Matusak who came in the eighth inning got the two-inning save and struck out four, which would be his first save this season.
Starting pitcher Ryan Troxel earned Macron Player of the Game and for good reason. He tossed five innings, allowing just four hits and a few walks with two unearned runs. Troxel also struck out a season-high eight hitters. He picked up the win — his first as a Corn Dog. He has not allowed an earned run in 15.2 innings and has struck out 23 hitters.
Lake County is now 13-5 on the season and leads the standings by three games. The Corn Dogs play Friday at 7 p.m.