By Andrew Mild
Records are made to be broken. In the first year of the franchise, the Lake County Corn Dogs have already reset the record books for the Northern League. Roman Kuntz broke the home run record with eight. and the Corn Dogs finished with a better winning percentage than the 2013 DuPage County Hounds.
For the regular season finale Saturday night (August 6), Northern League Pitcher of the Week Zack Beerling started the game for Corn Dogs. Beerling was effective and efficient in his start, inducing a lot of weak contact from the Southland Vikings batters. Beerling went six innings, allowed just four hits and one run — a very good sequel to his first start with the Corn Dogs.
Lake County hitters faced off against Northern League innings leader Max Everat. He came into the start with 72.1 innings of work, which was above and beyond more than anyone else in the league.
Everat worked around a couple of walks in the first inning, but then in the second he couldn’t leave with an empty inning. After beaning two Corn Dogs hitter, the bases loaded, and Donavan Noble got a clutch hit into center to give his team a 2-0 lead.
The Vikings would score their one run off of Beerling in the fourth inning from an RBI fielder’s choice.
Hayden Matulitch and Donavan Noble both had big hits to give the Corn Dogs the momentum, taking a 4-1 lead going into the final inning. Brock Bevil took the mound to close out the game, giving up a home run, but got the Corn Dogs to the finish line for a season finale 4-2 win and achieve a 35-11 record.
That 35-win season broke the Northern League record for most wins in a season, besting the 2017 NWI Oilmen (34-16). The Corn Dogs winning percentage calculates to a shiny .761, the prior record being .706 set by the Hounds nine years ago.
For his three-RBI performance, Donavan Noble received the final regular season Macron Player of the Game award.
What a year it has been for the Corn Dogs inaugural season. But it’s not over yet, as the playoffs kick off on Tuesday with a one-game single-elimination match against the Joliet Generals, who finished their season 24-23.
Game time Tuesday is 7 p.m. Purchase tickets at the Legacy Fields gate or at corndogsbaseball.com.
Photo by Josh Brunette