By Andrew Mild
After a successful opening weekend at home sweeping the NWI Oilmen, the Corn Dogs hit the road to to play a doubleheader against the defending league champion and also red hot Joliet Generals.
Both teams came in with three game winning streaks and sat atop of the Northern League standings early into the 2022 season.
In game one, the Generals turned to St. Ambrose right-hander Joey Turk, and the Corn Dogs started Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) freshman standout Rex Stills.
Both pitchers came out dealing, retiring the first 12 batters of the game before a player reached base. The Corn Dogs picked up a huge hit in the top of the fourth from first baseman Donovan Nanfeldt, who singled into center to drive in two runs. The Corn Dogs tacked on another run in the fifth thanks to Northern League player of the week, Tyler Schultz, who hit a sacrifice fly.
As Stills carried a shutout into the seventh inning, the Corn Dogs added another run to make the score 4-0. Stills went on to throw the first complete game shutout in Corn Dogs history, striking out eight and allowing just two hits and no walks.
“My goal was to not allow any free bases.” Stills said. “I wanted to attack the strike zone and force them to hit my pitch.”
After extending their winning streak to four games, the Corn Dogs turned played game two with Brock Bevil on the mound.
The Corn Dogs’ offense could not be contained early in the game. In the second inning, the Corn Dogs scored two runs off of four hits. Two of those hits were doubles by the DH Scott Hansen and first baseman Doug Loden, who both crossed the plate in that inning.
In the third and fourth inning the Corn Dogs sent up every player in their lineup to the plate, as they scored five runs in the third frame and four runs in the next inning. A lot of the damage came from the Corn Dogs’ ability to stay disciplined at the plate, as they worked 10 walks in game two and had amassed an 11-0 lead.
The Generals responded with a huge inning of their own by scoring six runs in the home half of the fourth to cut the Corn Dogs’ lead to 11-6. Manager Justin Huisman turned to his bullpen for the final three innings, who held the Generals scoreless to give the Corn Dogs the 11-6 win.
Scott Hansen was the player of the game for the Corn Dogs, as he went 2-3 with a double, an RBI and crossed the plate three times.
The Corn Dogs play next on Friday on their home turf at Legacy Fields in Crown Point versus the Joliet Generals — the only team to defeat the Corn Dogs. Game time is 7 p.m.