07/29/2014 9:19 PM -
Lisle, Ill. – July 29, 2014 – The DuPage County Hounds had never won a postseason game before Tuesday night. Then again, Patrick Bellinger had never started a Hounds playoff game prior to Tuesday night.
The DuPage County ace was his usual dominant self, throwing a complete game to guide the Hounds to a 3-1 victory over the Oilmen.
The Oilmen countered Bellinger with left-handed pitcher Jimmy McNamara, who yielded three runs on six hits and two walks over six innings to take the loss. Catcher Zack Jones described McNamara’s stuff as “electric” in the defeat.
“I love catching him,” Jones said. “He’s always my favorite pitcher to catch. He always knows what he wants and we’re always on the same page. I just love working with him.”
The Hounds struck first as they rallied for two runs against McNamara in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Oilmen sliced the lead in half as James Meeker and Zack Jones rapped back-to-back doubles to start the fifth inning, but Jones was eventually left stranded at second base.
The Oilmen had a runner on second base with nobody out once again in the sixth inning as Craig Dedelow started the frame with a double, but he was eventually left in scoring position.
“You knew this game was going to be a low-scoring affair and it was going to come down to who executed and we had our chances to execute,” Huisman said. “We had a couple of opportunities. We had runners in scoring position with nobody out, and we just didn’t get the job done. That was the difference in the game.”
Crown Point graduate Nick Nauracy sent down all six Hounds he faced in relief of McNamara, keeping the deficit at two. Dedelow and Jones had two hits each to pace the Oilmen. Jones also notched the only hit against Bellinger the last time the Oilmen faced the DuPage right-hander.
“I just see the ball well off him,” Jones said. “I look to go the other way and if he gives me something inside, I just turn-and-burn on it.”
The Oilmen must win on Wednesday night at Oil City Stadium to force a third game in the best-of-three Midwest Collegiate League Semifinals. They will send right-hander Cameron Linck to the mound against DuPage County’s Matt Frawley.
“It’s just like any game in postseason play,” Huisman said. “When you get those opportunities, you’ve got to come through. We played good defense; we didn’t make any errors, we pitched well. We got some guys on base against a good pitcher. Tomorrow, we’ve got to do the same thing and we’ve just got to come through.”
Wednesday will be a special Way Back Wednesday with the Oilmen holding a “50 percent off everything” sale at the ballpark. All tickets, food, drinks and merchandise will be available for half off. The first pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m.