Keon Barnum, Dogs Maul Milkmen, 13-3
KOKOMO, Ind. — The Chicago Dogs scored a franchise-record 13 runs, highlighted by a Keon Barnum grand slam, to back a workhorse outing from starter Jake Dahlberg en route to a 13-3 win, completing a sweep of the Milwaukee Milkmen at Kokomo Municipal Stadium on Sunday.
Dahlberg (W, 1-0) got off to a rocky start in the first two frames, surrendering a leadoff ground rule double to Nolan Earley and walking Garrett Copeland, allowing Jose Rosario to score Earley with a single. Two batters later, Adam Walker drove in Copeland with a groundout to put the Milkmen ahead 2-0.
Milwaukee continued its strong start in the second inning, as Sam Dexter hit a one-out RBI double to give Milwaukee an early 3-0 lead for the second consecutive contest. From there it was smooth sailing for Dahlberg, who surrendered only two additional hits the rest of the way. He finished with eight innings of work, striking out seven and walking just one while scattering six hits, doing so on just over 100 pitches.
Then, Chicago got its offensive onslaught started in the third inning as Roache set the tone with a leadoff double off Milkmen starter Zac Westcott (L, 0-1). Dean singled to put runners at the corners, and Gonzalez capitalized with a sacrifice fly for the Dogs’ first run of the day. Smith and Arroyo reached to load the bases for Trey Vavra, who drew his team-leading seventh walk to make it just a one-run deficit. Kelly Dugan followed him with a double to put Chicago ahead 4-3.
The fourth inning brought out the fireworks from the Chicago offense as they scored eight runs in the frame. Jordan Dean and Rey Gonzalez singled to bring up Harrison Smith, who delivered an RBI single. Edwin Arroyo followed with a two-run triple, giving the Dogs a 7-3 lead. Three batters later, Keon Barnum cracked a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall for a grand slam, his third home run of 2019, to make it 11-3. Not to be outdone, former NCAA home run king Victor Roache completed the back-to-back jacks with a solo shot that put the Dogs ahead by nine.
Tony Rosselli continued his hot hitting in the fifth inning to give the Dogs their new franchise record for runs in a game when he singled in Vavra with two outs in the frame. The 13-3 scoreline held thanks to Dahlberg, leaving Brandon Shimo an effortless ninth inning that saw him strike out the side to seal the blowout for Chicago.
The Dogs return to Impact Field on Monday, kicking off a six-game homestand against the Sioux Falls Canaries at 1:05 PM in the Dogs’ first series against a South Division opponent.
Fans can tune in to The Chicago Dogs Baseball Network to watch every Dogs home game. For more updates, follow @TheChicagoDogs on social media and use the hashtag #TakeABite.
By Sam Brief