Bullpen, Metzger Walk-Off Have Dogs Howling
By Jack Ankony, The Chicago Dogs
Brennan Metzger’s dance moves entertain the crowd, but his ability to predict the future wins games.
As Johnny Adams led off second base in the 10th inning on Tuesday against the Kane County Cougars, Metzger was sitting on a sinker. Having faced Mark Seyler in the past, Metzger knew this pitch was coming to start his at-bat.
Seyler tossed a belt-high sinker to the Dogs’ left fielder, and Metzger lined the ball down the third base line. Adams was home easily, and the rest of the Dogs rushed to second base to congratulate Metzger on his walk-off hit that took down the Cougars 4-3.
Kane County jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but it was the strength of the Dogs bullpen that kept this contest close. Dogs starter Ryley Widell allowed three early runs, but John Baker had his back in relief.
Baker entered in a precarious situation but executed in key situations for the Dogs. Baker allowed three hits and one walk, while striking out one batter and allowing zero runs in three and one-third of an inning.
Justin Goossen-Brown kept his dominant streak alive, tossing one and one-third of an inning of scoreless baseball. Goossen-Brown has now gone 10 and one-third of an inning without allowing a run.
Shane Barringer made his professional debut on Tuesday and impressed in his first outing since graduating Bellarmine University in the spring. Barringer admittedly dealt with some nerves ahead of his first appearance as a professional, but words of encouragement from teammates and coaches helped him excel.
“Hey, you’re not a rookie anymore,” Dogs manager Butch Hobson told Barringer. “You know how to play here. Just trust your stuff, and go out there and do what you can do.”
Barringer looked like a seasoned veteran on the mound, tossing two shutout innings while allowing two hits and one walk. Barringer didn’t strike out any Kane County hitters, but trusted his defense when it mattered most.
“I know the defense out there is incredible,” Barringer said. “I just trust them to make the plays for me, and I do what I can to help them out.”
For Barringer, a big adjustment from the collegiate to the professional game has been the atmosphere at the ballpark. Barringer said the fans were incredible in his first experience at Impact Field, and he played into that excitement from the stands when he took the mound.
“The energy gets me going out there,” Barringer said. “It fires me up to do my job.”
With this win, the Dogs have now won three out of their last four games. Defeating the Cougars also moved the Dogs’ record to 4-4 against Kane County since their addition to the American Association.