Game One: Dogs 9, AirHogs 4
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — The Chicago Dogs dominated from the start in a 9-4 win over the Texas AirHogs in game one of a Friday doubleheader at AirHogs Stadium.
Victor Roache registered a season-high four RBIs in a 2-for-4 day to back up another solid start by Jake Dahlberg (W, 3-2) as the Dogs picked up their first win of the season over the AirHogs.
Texas took an early lead on an RBI single by former Dog Jonathan Moroney to score Josh Prince in the first.
Chicago responded with a vengeance in the second and third innings, dropping eight unanswered runs on AirHogs starter Travis Ballew (L, 1-6) as they sent 13 men to the plate in a seven-run third inning. The frame was highlighted by a two-run double by Roache and a two-RBI homer by the red-hot Jordan Dean in the very next at-bat.
The AirHogs scratched across an unearned run in the fourth inning as Luo Jinjun singled home Brett Eibner, who reached on an error, to make it 8-2.
After Ballew was knocked out of the game, lefty Tu Jialun retired the first nine batters he faced before surrendering four straight baserunners, allowing the Dogs to tack on another run compliments of Roache’s fourth RBI of the afternoon to score Trey Vavra and make it 9-2.
Back-to-back doubles by Eibner and Ijames and a double by Yang Jin two batters later drove in two more runs to bring the AirHogs within five, 9-4.
Carlos Zambrano took over for Dahlberg and shut down the AirHogs the rest of the way, allowing just one hit with one strikeout over 1.2 scoreless innings to secure the win.
Game Two: AirHogs 7, Dogs 6
The Chicago Dogs fell late in a back-and-forth affair as they split the doubleheader against the Texas AirHogs, falling 7-6 on Friday night at AirHogs Stadium.
Gustavo Pierre and Mitchell Kranson provided two RBI each, but the Dogs could not hold off a late rally by the AirHogs.
For the second straight game, it was the Texas AirHogs who jumped out to a 1-0 lead. This time it was Luo Jinjun who scored Javion Randle on an unorthodox groundout in the bottom of the second inning.
Chicago answered back in the very next frame with two runs of their own. Victor Roache drove in his fifth run of the series with a double to score Trey Vavra, and himself scored from second on a Pierre infield single.
The AirHogs knotted the game at two in the bottom of the third on a Josh Prince single to score Luan Chenchen, and then took a 3-2 lead when Prince scored on a wild pitch.
Texas added two more in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back base hits from the top of the order to extend the lead to 5-2 and end the day for Dogs starter Trevor Simms out of the contest.
Chicago wasted no time in responding, driving in four runs on three hits and knocking AirHogs starter Taylor Wright out of the game. Jordan Dean doubled in a run, Pierre drove one in on a groundout, and Kranson drove in two more on a double to give his team the lead, 6-5.
Rich Mascheri (L, 1-1) came on in relief of Simms in the middle of the fourth to limit the AirHogs offense, but ran into trouble in the sixth. He allowed a Li Ning RBI single in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at six runs apiece. Stewart Ijames delivered late-inning offensive heroics against the Dogs again, lacing a go-ahead single that gave the AirHogs a 7-6 lead.
Tyler Matzek (W, 2-3) came on as a reliever in the middle of the fifth for Wright and surrendered just one run to the Dogs, dialing up lights-out sixth and seventh innings.
LHP Austin Wright (1-5) is set to go for game three on Saturday night, facing off against RHP Zech Lemond (0-5). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM.
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