Dogs Pounded, Muzzled in Fargo-Moorhead
By Jack Ankony, the Chicago Dogs
It was an experimental night in Fargo, North Dakota for Butch Hobson and the Dogs.
After losing three relievers and one starter to MLB organizations over the last week, we got a look at some of the new Dogs arms on Monday night against the RedHawks. Things didn’t go quite as planned, as the Dogs lost 11-0, but the game was not short of notable outcomes.
AJ Jones was named today’s starter and make his professional debut after graduating from the University of Central Florida in the spring. Jones looked confident on the mound to start, as he struck out two RedHawks in the first inning.
In the second, Jones left one in the zone to Jordan George, who cranked a two-run home run after a Correlle Prime double. Jones tossed one-two-three innings in the third and fourth to bring his strikeout total to five, but ran into trouble in the fifth inning.
Jones allowed back-to-back singles to begin the inning, then a hit-by-pitch caused Hobson to look for a replacement. Hobson turned to J.C. Llaser, who also made his professional debut on Monday night.
Llaser entered the game in a near-impossible situation with the bases loaded and no outs. Llaser gave up four hits, which allowed five runs to score. He was pulled from the game after recording one out and finished with four earned runs on four hits.
Jones exited the game with the bases loaded, which led to his final line being inflated. Across four inning, Jones allowed four hits, five runs, zero walks and five strikeouts. A third Dog made his professional debut in relief of Llaser, as Dalton Chapman entered midway through the fifth inning.
Chapman pitched 1.2 innings and gave up four hits, two earned runs, two walks and one strikeout. Brendan Smith made his professional debut on June 19 against the Gary SouthShore RailCats, and was called upon in relief for his second time as a Dog on Monday.
Smith pitched two scoreless innings on June 19 and continued his nice start to the year with a perfect inning against the RedHawks. Facing an 11-0 deficit, the Dogs elected to not use another usual bullpen arm and handed the ball to first baseman K.C. Hobson.
Hobson once aspired to pitch professionally, but is more known for his home run hitting from the left side. Hobson made an appearance for the Dogs on the mound last year, but Monday was his first time toeing the rubber for the Dogs in 2021.
He allowed one hit, but struck out two batters in one inning of work. One of these strikeouts came against Leobaldo Piña, who is ranked third in the American Association with a .389 batting average.
The Dogs will look to move on from this tough loss with another chance to take on the RedHawks tomorrow at 7:02 p.m. CT. Jordan Kipper has an opportunity to continue his hot streak as he takes the mound for the Dogs.