By Andrew Mild
In any good show on Broadway every single one concludes the same, with a curtain call. With Corn Dogs players returning to college or shutting it down for the season, these boys of summer are delivering their final performance. Their own curtain call. But out of all the ones thus far and more to come, Roman Kuntz’s curtain call might leave the best, last impression.
On a humid Thursday evening in Crown Point, the first place Corn Dogs took on the last place Chicago American Giants. Lake County had an opportunity to increase their win total to 33 wins in the first season of the team.
Manager Justin Huisman would pick ace pitcher Ryan Troxel to start this contest, his last appearance in the regular season. Troxel once again proved why he was the ace of this dominant squad, as he went three innings and induced too many swings and misses to count. The ace would strike out eight hitters out the nine minimum hitters he faced.
With Troxel quickly working through the American Giants, this allowed the offense to keep the sticks hot and get to the plate quickly. Tyler Schultz ignited the offense with a two-out solo home run for his fourth this season.
There was no stopping the Corn Dogs after that. The next frame Scott Hansen doubled into deep center to clear the bases, and Schultz sent him in to make it 5-0 Dogs after two innings.
“That hit from Scott Hansen really got us going.” Huisman said. “Our bats were hot all night.”
The newest addition to the Corn Dogs, Ranko Stevanovik, hit his first home run in just his second game, blasting the ball over the left field wall. Kuntz, in his final game (sorry, back to school), then hit his Northern League-record tying seventh home run deep into the night.
The Corn Dogs put up a four-spot in the sixth to make it a 14-0 rout of the Giants. With Roman’s final at-bat in the eighth, he had two runners on base and an opportunity to stand alone in Northern League history.
The first pitch didn’t end up finding the catcher’s glove. Kuntz instead turned on an inside pitch and jogged his way around the bases one final time, becoming the new Northern League home run king.
The Corn Dogs won 17-0. They are now 33-11 and have won 19 games at Legacy Field.
In Roman Kuntz’s curtain call game, he went 4-6 with seven RBI’s and two home runs… tyhe best curtain call indeed for Kuntz.
Corn Dogs wrap up the regular season Saturday, and host the opening round of the Northern League playoffs on Saturday. Purchase tickets at corndogsbaseball.com.