Luke Westphal No-Hits Milwaukee Through 6, Dogs Prevail 5-4
KOKOMO, Ind. — Luke Westphal set the franchise record for strikeouts in a game by a Dogs pitcher with 12 strikeouts in a masterful performance that led the Chicago Dogs back over .500 with a 5-4 win over the Milwaukee Milkmen at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
Brandon Shimo, Carlos Zambrano and Josh Goossen-Brown added to the strikeout mania with seven K’s to bring the team total on the day to 19, breaking the American Association record for team strikeouts in a game (previously held by Sioux Falls, who struck out 17).
With one out in the second inning, Tony Rosselli and Keon Barnum hit back-to-back singles to bring up Harrison Smith, who extended his season-long hitting streak to six games with a three-run homer to open the scoring.
Chicago tacked on another run in the third inning after Trey Vavra reached on an error by Milkmen first baseman Dan Ward, moving to third on a Kelly Dugan double. The next batter, Tony Rosselli, hit a weak dribbler towards Milkmen starter Angel Ventura that was thrown to first at the last second, but too little too late as Rosselli reached, scoring Vavra on the infield single to give the Dogs a 4-0 lead.
Ventura (L, 0-2) scattered four additional hits on the night to finish with three earned runs given up to go with eight strikeouts and one walk over seven innings.
Westphal (W, 2-0) exited without allowing a hit and walking two, giving way to Brandon Shimo to start the seventh inning. The Milkmen pounced on the opportunity and dialed up two runs on a Nolan Earley home run.
Rosselli, fresh off his historic three-homer performance, pushed the Dogs’ lead back to three in the eighth with a towering solo shot, his fourth in two games. Playing in his home state, the Terre Haute, Indiana native finished the game 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored in his home state.
The eighth inning also proved challenging for Dogs pitching as Zambrano entered and immediately surrendered a double to Jose Rosario, who scored a few pitches later when Manuel Boscan singled him in. With one out in the inning, Milwaukee sent lefty pinch-hitter Taisei Fukuhara out of Fukushima University to the plate. With the first swing he took in American baseball drove a double off the left field wall to score Boscan, trimming the Dogs’ lead to one. Zambrano limited the damage by striking out Earley, the 16th Chicago strikeout of the contest.
Josh Goossen-Brown entered the ninth seeking his second save in as many games. He breezed through his allotment of Milkmen batters, striking out the side to secure the 5-4 win.
The Dogs are back in action on Saturday against the Milkmen in game two of a three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM as Trevor Simms (0-1) is set to go for Chicago against T.J. House (1-0) for Milwaukee. Fans can tune in to The Chicago Dogs Baseball Network for an audio feed of every Dogs road game. Team broadcaster Sam Brief will have the call. For more updates, follow @TheChicagoDogs on social media and use the hashtag #TakeABite.
By Sam Brief