Minutemen Hold Their Own Versus Hounds in Defeat

By: Ryan Zimmerman

Midlothian, Ill. – To finish out their four-game homestand at Howie Minas Field, the MCL Minutemen (5-12) partook in a close matchup against the DuPage County Hounds (11-5). Despite an excellent hitting display, the Minutemen couldn’t conjure up runs when they needed them most, taking a 6-3 loss.

“The guys played well for the most part,” manager Jack Murphy said. “We just didn’t fire on all cylinders. There are some good performances for sure, but that full-team execution needed to win wasn’t there.”

Though the Hounds doubled the Minutemen in the run column, the hosts cranked out twice as many hits, holding a 10-5 advantage in that category. Brad Miller (Illinois-Springfield/Oak Forest, Ill.) led the way with three, all doubles, mixing in two runs batted in and one run scored. All three knocks came in meaningful situations; he found ways to contribute to all three of his team’s runs.

“Brad’s been working really hard all summer, and he’s starting to reap the benefits,” Murphy said. “He’s focused on improving both his swing and mental approach at the plate; it showed today. He attacked good pitches, got some good swings off, and put together a nice three-hit day.”

Matthew Lelito (Kankakee CC/Merrillville, Ind.) produced another quality start in his fourth outing. He scattered two Hounds runs over four hits in six innings, striking out seven batters in addition. Of the 24 batters he faced, 11 made weak contact against him.

“Lelito came out sharp and pitched well all game long,” Murphy said. “It was fun to watch him continue to dominate on the mound. I wish we could have gotten him a win today, but he kept us in it throughout.”

The Minutemen took an early lead in the second inning on Miller’s first double, bringing home Ryan Howe (Purdue/Mount Prospect, Ill.) who himself had two hits and two runs. They doubled their advantage immediately after Miller’s second two-bagger, scoring on two consecutive errors in the fifth.

DuPage County responded to tie the score in the sixth at two and broke the game open with a four-run eighth. However, as runners stood on the corners and the Hounds had a chance to put the Minutemen away, Norman Standish (South Suburban College/Highland, Ind.) stepped up in relief. He tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings and held his team’s deficit to four. When he stepped off the mound to end the ninth, he had extended his scoreless innings streak to 6 2/3 innings.

“Norm’s become someone we can depend on,” Murphy said. “All season long, he’s come in and shut the door, especially with runners on base. It’s been good to see him continue to succeed on the mound.”

MCL got one run back through Brad Miller’s third double, chasing Howe around to score once again. Unfortunately, they could generate no more offense the rest of the way, resigning them to a loss.

The Minutemen cross back over the border on Friday at 7:10 pm as they take on the Northwest Indiana Oilmen at Oil City Stadium in Whiting, Ind. Tune into the Northwest Indiana Oilmen Broadcast Network via Facebook Live to catch every moment with Brandon Vickrey and Ryan Zimmerman on the call.



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