07/08/2018 4:45 PM -
-By Sam Oppenheim
Last Tuesday, the Joliet Generals entered Lemont HS Sports Complex as losers of ten of their last 11 games. Today, a depleted Generals team left that same place as winners of four straight after defeating the DuPage County Hounds by a score of 5-3 in 11 innings.
“I was able to mix and match our three pitchers and use all the position guys we had,” said Joliet manager Joe Hernandez. “Somehow, someway, we came out of here with a victory.”
Unlike previous matchups between these two teams, this one was a pitcher’s duel. On the mound, both starters went exactly six innings and gave quality starts. For the Hounds, Andrew Padilla allowed three runs, with only one of them being earned, on four hits and struck out seven. For the visiting Generals, Logan DeWulf scattered eight hits across the board, allowing two runs, with just one being earned.
“My approach was to just pound the strike zone,” said DeWulf. “I’m not really a guy who’s going to get a lot of strikeouts, but I want to give my defense some work and they helped me out today.”
He left the game in a position for his second win of the season as Joliet held a 3-2 lead. But, despite the no decision, DeWulf is glad he was able to play a big role in the winning effort.
“I’m not out here to get wins,” said DeWulf. “I just come out here to do my job and will gladly give the win to the next guy.”
DeWulf, and today’s two other pitchers for the Generals, Mitchell Schroll and Brock Budzielek, who also did their jobs, were supported by an offense that just enough to win. Outfielder Joe Scaffidi lead the team in hits and RBIs, with three and two respectively. In addition, Scaffidi was one of two runs to cross the plate in the eleventh, after he and the go-ahead run in Bryce Cross led off the inning with a pair of singles. Jimmy Day was able to hit the first pitch up the middle to bring in those two runs.
That 5-3 score held up in the bottom half of the inning, after Budzielek was able to get Nick Bellina to fly out, which stranded two Hounds runners.
Overall, Joliet has been a completely different team since that 11-4 victory over the Hounds on Tuesday, and have returned to their success that was evident early in the season. Hernandez sees patience as a key to the recent turnaround.
“I’m stressing patience with a lot of players and they are following through on that,” said Hernandez.“If you don’t feel hurried or rushed at the plate, you’re gonna see that ball better and put a better swing on it.”
The Generals will look to continue that winning streak on Tuesday against the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. First pitch is set for 5pm at Wayne King Field and the game will be broadcasted on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network.