Kipper Dominates as Dogs Even Series
By Jack Ankony, Chicago Dogs
If a breaking ball is hung in the zone to Michael Crouse, chances are he’ll make the pitcher pay.
Facing a 1-0 deficit and a 2-2 count with two outs in the third inning, Crouse was all over Kody Bullard’s belt-high breaking ball. The Dogs’ center fielder blasted a moonshot over the left field wall to take a 2-1 lead.
Harrison Smith’s 3-for-4 night was highlighted by an RBI single to drive in Johnny Adams in the third, which ended up being the game-winning run in the Dogs’ 4-2 win over the Cleburne Railroaders on Aug. 3.
Manager Butch Hobson made adjustments to the Dogs’ lineup ahead of Tuesday’s game, which resulted in 10 hits from seven of the nine Dogs hitters. After a three-run third inning for the Dogs, starter Jordan Kipper controlled the game with his late-breaking slider.
Kipper tossed six innings while allowing three hits, one run, two walks and seven strikeouts. The former Baltimore Orioles farmhand was on the attack early on, throwing first pitch strikes to the first four batters of the game.
And once Kipper got ahead in the count, the combination of his slider and splitter fanned the Railroaders early and often. Kipper was replaced by Jase Dalton to begin the seventh inning, who continued an impressive start to his professional career.
Dalton threw a perfect seventh inning, striking out two batters. After graduating from the University of South Alabama in the spring, Dalton has been a valuable addition to the Dogs’ bullpen. Through 16.2 innings, Dalton has posted a 2.70 ERA.
After lefty reliever Cam Booser allowed a run with two outs in the seventh inning, Dogs closer Jeff Kinley entered to halt the Railroaders’ comeback efforts. Kinley didn’t allow a baserunner in one and one-third of an inning to save his 10th game of the season.
The Dogs entered Tuesday’s contest riding their longest losing streak of the season at four games. This complete effort in Cleburne is a sign the Dogs are working their way back on track as a heated playoff race begins with less than 30 games left in the regular season.
The Dogs have an opportunity to cap off a six-game road trip with a win as Kyle Murphy makes his second professional start. Murphy allowed three runs on eight hits in his debut on July 30 in Kansas City.