DockHounds’ reselience results in a walk-off win over Railroaders

DockHounds Walk it off against Cleburne

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. – The DockHounds reiterated their team is built on resilience. 

“These are honestly some of the most exciting games because we get to show our character as a team,” DockHounds center fielder Justin Connell said. 

After battling all game, the Lake Country DockHounds were rewarded with a walk-off win over the Cleburne Railroaders Thursday in Wisconsin Brewing Company Park. 

In the fifth inning and the game tied at 4-4, Lake Country DockHounds manager Ken Huckaby was ejected. With a runner on first and Justin Connell in a full count, the pay-off pitch resulted in a borderline third strike. After the call favored the Railroaders, Connell voiced his opinion before Huckaby followed suit with an argument of his own.

“I don’t want to get thrown out of the game, because I need to be there for my team, but I turned around and I saw ‘Huck’ having my back,” Connell said. “Having a manager that has your back like that, it does something to a player and it makes you want to run through a wall for them.”

With that new jolt of passion coursing through the DockHound dugout, the intensity picked up. Starter Bryan Bonnell got better as the game went on, and after Brody Rodning combined with Alan Carter, Cleburne’s offense struggled. 

Following Rodning’s stellar 1 2/3 inning relief appearance, Carter pitched a perfect ninth, thus setting the tone for an exciting ending. 

After Connell beat out an infield single, Cesar Izturis Jr. pinch-ran. Iztruis Jr. promptly stole second base, putting the winning run in scoring position. After Justin Lavey walked, Marek Chlup delivered. 

Chlup drove a single into the right-center field gap that scored Izturis and sealed the Lake Country win. 

“For the team to rally behind me after that fourth and eventually walk it off, it was awesome,” Bonnell said. “It was a great team win.”

As the game progressed, the perseverance didn’t waver. After dropping an early 3-0 lead, the DockHounds regrouped and tied the game at four. Lake Country’s determination continued later, resulting in a morale-boosting win.

“(It’s) unbelievable,” Carter said. “That’s what happens when everybody comes every day and prepares their butt off every day. We all believe in ourselves and in this team, and that’s what happens when you believe.” 

Following the game, the spirits were high. After taking two of the first three from Cleburne, Lake Country is eager to ride this new wave of momentum. 

“The energy is high right now,” Bonnell said. “Since we got the taste of winning again, we are ready to keep letting it roll.”

The DockHounds will play the Railroaders again at 6:35 p.m. Friday at Wisconsin Brewing Company Park. 

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