Smith Three-Homer Night Not Enough for Dogs
by Sam Brief, Chicago Dogs
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Harrison Smith hit three home runs tonight. Only, the Winnipeg Goldeyes scored in seven of nine innings to push past the Dogs, 14-7.
No Chicago pitcher could catch a break. Starter Shane Barringer finished with 3.1 innings pitched and surrendered five runs. Winnipeg scrapped together singles and made the contact count with three extra-base hits. Righty Johnathon Tripp came in for long relief, but did not favor much better.
The Texan ended the fourth and carried two outs in the fifth, but gave up a single and maybe the longest home run in the history of Impact Field to David Washington. The first baseman teed off on a fastball and sent it over the batter’s eye in dead center.
Chicago simply could not keep up with the offensive fire power of Winnipeg. While Smith mashed three homers, they were all solo shots that could not bring the Dogs back into the game. Grant Kay picked up three RBI as well from a 2-for-3 day to help the cause.
What held back the Dogs offense from keeping score with Winnipeg was a 4-for-21 day from the top five hitters in the lineup, including a 0-for-5 day from Charlie Tilson. The bottom half of the order collected all seven RBI and four extra-base hits.
Meanwhile, the Goldeyes collected 18 total hits and had more players with multi-hit games than not. That margin was not particularly close, with seven players in the lineup with two or three hits. Additionally, all but one player in the lineup collected a RBI.
Winnipeg notched a run in each of the first two innings, the second coming off a home run from center fielder Reggie Pruitt Jr., his ninth of the year.
Smith notched his first long ball of the night in the bottom of the third to make the game 2-1. The Dogs were making solid contact and sending balls consistently to the outfield in the first two frames, but they found the gloves of the outfield easily. Smith avoided this issue by simply sending the ball over the left field fence.
The game began to unravel in the fourth. Barringer opened the inning with his fourth strike out of the night, but then allowed two runners aboard from a single and walk. Second baseman Justin Thompson brought in a run off a double, and catcher Deon Stafford Jr. followed that up with a double of his own to score two more. The all-star finished 2-for-5 with a team-high three RBI.
Chicago catcher Trent Bauer tried to keep the game tight with his RBI single in the bottom of the frame, but then Winnipeg came right back to score another pair. This came from Washington’s booming home run that may be the longest in the history of Impact Field.
Whenever the Dogs scored, the Goldeyes simply one-upped them. Chicago scored two in the bottom of the fifth to match Washington’s long ball, so Winnipeg scored three in the sixth. When Smith hit his second home run, it was answered by three runs from the opposition.
Of the seven pitchers used by Chicago, only Ryan Clark and Kevin Marnon escaped cleanly. The duo of Clark and Marnon are yet to allow a run in the month of July and 27 combined strikeouts.
For Chicago, this is the first series they have lost in the month of July. The pitching staff served a 10.26 team ERA in the three-game set that put the squad in early deficits.
The Dogs will have the opportunity to turn the tides tomorrow, when they face the Cleburne RailRoaders at home in a three-game series. Chicago went 5-1 in their six game roadtrip against Cleburne in May, but it is a squad that is 9-1 in their last 10 games and have put up double-digit runs in three of the last four games.