By Noel Fary
The Lake County Corn Dogs bounced back from their first loss of the season after grinding out a 2-1 victory over the Indiana Panthers on Friday in a pitcher’s duel that silenced even the loudest of bats.
Corn Dog’s ace Ryan Troxel returned to the mound and performed at the level his teammates knew he was capable of.
Neither team scored in the first five innings, largely due to Troxel and Panthers starter Erick Cerezo shutting down both offenses entirely. Troxel gathered six strikeouts along with no walks or earned runs.
Corn Dogs Manager Justin Heisman praised the pitching performance and shows little concern for the recent dip in the team’s offensive outbursts.
“I fully expected with the arms we had going today that putting up a lot of zeros was a strong possibility,” Huisman said. “It was a tough day to hit with the atmosphere. The ball just wasn’t going anywhere.”
After a few missed opportunities, the Corn Dogs’ Shane Jones advanced his way to third on a single, wild pitch, and stolen base, the first sign of life from either offense. A sacrifice fly from Ethan Imlach sent Jones home, and the Corn Dogs were up 1-0.
The Panthers answered quickly, evening the game off of a string of singles and some mishaps from the Corn Dogs defense.
Late in the game, extra innings seemed almost inevitable. However, Kevin Hall sent a ball screaming down the third base line for extra bases, as Macron Player of the Game Ethan Nielsen came around to score and give the Corn Dogs the lead by one.
Nielsen finished the game three for four with no strikeouts.
Harrison Dubois struck out two batters in the bottom of the ninth and sealed the deal for the Corn Dogs’ 2-1 victory.
The Corn Dogs saw many different types of games this season, but almost all of them have resulted in the same outcome: victory. Huisman remains optimistic about his squad and the season to come.
“At the end of the day, we’re five and one,” Huisman said. “We’ve got a lot of good games ahead of us.”
Photo caption: Ethan Nielsen, Macron Player of the Game, went 3-4 on the day.
Photo by Josh Brunette