By Andrew Mild
Through the first two games of season opener series versus the NWI Oilmen, it was the Lake County Corn Dogs’ pitching that dominated. On Sunday, Lake County had to turn to their offense to finish the sweep of the Oilmen.
The Corn Dogs led the game 3-0 early after an errant throw sailed down the right field line to score the second run, and set the table for the third run.
The Oilmen, who had only managed to score one run through the first 22 innings, finally exploded in the fifth inning, scoring eight runs on four hits, an error and slew of walks. The 8-3 lead would be the first time the Oilmen led in the entire series.
The Corn Dogs responded by scoring a pair of runs from a two-RBI single by Tyler Schultz to drive in Donovan Noble and Gain Terry. That put the score at 8-5.
In the seventh inning, the Oilmen got two big hits from Dom Curcio and Chris Baker that drove in two runs each. The Oilmen built their way to a 12-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, down seven runs, the Corn Dogs finally exploded on offense. The Corn Dogs hit, walked and wore down Oilmen pitching to get on base and keep their rally going. Schultz hit his second double of the game to drive in two more runners. Bret Matthys singled on a two-strike count to bring in another runner.
With the bases loaded and down 12-11, the Corn Dogs’ Cal Curiel smoked a liner into right field to drive in two runners and to give his team the lead. Austin Ridgeway fielder’s choice scored another run.
Dylan Matusak would come in to pitch and try and shut the door, but not before the Oilmen made things interesting again. With the bases loaded and two outs, Matusak picked up the strikeout and catcher Jaden Deel picked up the ball, touched home plate and completed the sweep of the NWI Oilmen with a 14-12 win.
The Corn Dogs are off Monday and Tuesday off before a doubleheader on the road against the defending league champions, the Joliet Generals, on Wednesday.
Photo by Josh Brunette