Keon Barnum Homers Twice to Lead Dogs to Victory
ROSEMONT, Ill. — Keon Barnum launched two towering home runs and a double to back a quality start by Trevor Simms, and the Chicago Dogs defeated the Sioux City Explorers, 9-2, on Friday night at Impact Field.
On Superhero Night at the ballpark, Barnum was Mr. Incredible. The Tampa, Florida native hit his fourth and fifth homers of the season, and finished the game 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. The first baseman now has 15 RBI to join his five home runs on the season, both the most on the team.
Trevor Simms (W, 1-1) rebounded after a shaky first inning to earn his first win of the season. The Explorers struck first on a two-run double by Dean Green, but Simms responded with five shutout innings. The right-hander finished with six hits, two runs, and three walks allowed while striking out six batters over six frames.
The Chicago bullpen showcased superpowers of its own, facing the minimum and allowing only one hit over the final three innings. Kyle Halbohn took over in the seventh, throwing a quick 1-2-3 frame. Rich Mascheri entered the game in the eighth and allowed a hit, but quickly ended the inning on a 6-4-3 double play.
Carlos Zambrano induced three fly-outs for a perfect ninth inning, securing the victory.
David Olmedo-Barrera got the offense started for the Dogs in the first with a leadoff double. He would score two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Trey Vavra.
Chicago tied the game in the third with a solo shot by Harrison Smith, his second of the season.
After Kelly Dugan walked in the fourth inning, Barnum brought him home with his first homer of the contest, an opposite-field blast, to give Chicago a 4-2 advantage.
The score would remain that way until the seventh, when Barnum’s second long ball soared over the parking deck in right field to put the Dogs up by three.
The offensive barrage culminated in the eighth inning with four more runs for the home team. A leadoff walk by Olmedo-Barrera and single by Edwin Arroyo put two men on for Vavra, who cleared the bases with a double. Three batters later, Barnum put the exclamation mark on his night with a ground-rule double to score Vavra. On the next at-bat, Victor Roache drove in Barnum with a single to put the Dogs up 9-2.
With the win, the Dogs improve to 9-4 on the season, which includes a perfect 7-0 mark in evening games.
The Dogs will try to notch their tenth win of the year on Saturday against the Explorers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Impact Field and post-game fireworks will follow the game. Lefty Jake Dahlberg (1-0) is set to go for Chicago against Taylor Jordan (0-2).
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