The Lake County Corn Dogs delivered a game-winning blow in a 6-5 victory to the Elkhart County Miracle in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday. It was a game where offense was almost impossible to come by and the Corn Dogs had to wait for just the right moment.
The Corn Dogs looked to remain undefeated against the Miracle at home and silence any doubts about a potential playoff matchup. Dylan Matusak started on the mound for the Corn Dogs, having seen the Miracle multiple times this season.
With three quick hits, the Miracle jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The Corn Dogs quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, but the Miracle kept their foot on the gas, taking a 4-1 lead after the top of the third.
Austin Pizer came in relief for the Corn Dogs in the fifth, silencing the Miracle offense and maintaining a deficit that the Corn Dogs offense slowly chipped away at.
Pizer finished the day with 3.1 innings pitched, giving up 5 hits, 1 earned run and striking out 5, earning himself a Co-Macron Player of the Game. Corn Dogs Manager Justin Huisman was pleased with his pitcher’s performance.
“If you had to single out one thing, I mean that’s why we won the game,” Huisman said. “That’s the most he’s thrown all summer by far. It was just outstanding.”
A single run in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, courtesy of an Owen Winters single and a Zach Zychowski solo home run, put the game within one run. But the Corn Dogs still struggled to find consistent offense.
The Miracle scored one in the top of the eighth, and with a 5-3 ballgame headed into the bottom of the ninth, the Corn Dogs needed a spark.
Three straight batters reached for the Corn Dogs, loading up the bases and allowing a Scott Hansen hit by pitch to put the Corn Dogs within one. Tyler Schultz, coming off a Northern League Player of the Week campaign, stepped up to bat and received a ball to the elbow that appeared to tie up the game 5-5.
Unfortunately for Schultz, the call came in that he leaned into the ball. Now facing a 1-2 count, Schultz once again proved his worth as a clutch player, delivering a 2-RBI walk-off base hit, winning the game for the Corn Dogs 6-5.
Huisman was thrilled with the outcome of the game, even with his offense appearing stagnant at certain points.
Check out the box score from the game.
“It was a lot of fun to come back and win that game, to walk it off like that, especially against Elkhart,” Huisman said.
The Corn Dogs head into the third game of their final homestand on Thursday against the Miracle once again at 7 p.m. The Corn Dogs will honor and host local first responders tonight.