How ‘optimism’ is being spread through the DockHounds amidst a slump

Ryan Hernandez

The Lake Country DockHounds are 2-7 in their last nine games, however, optimism remains. 

“I thought we played really well in Lincoln and hit the ball extremely well in Sioux City, but we just had nothing to show for it in the big yard,” DockHounds manager Ken Huckaby said. “Disappointing not to come out with at least one or two of those games, but I’m still optimistic about the future of this team.”

After a disappointing road trip and being swept by the Sioux City Explorers, Huckaby remains confident in his team. 

“We just have to tweak a couple of things,” Huckaby said. “Once those couple of things get tweaked, I think we will be on the right page. I think we have the right guys in the right spots right now.”

Key players like Ryan Hernandez and Marek Chlup have each provided sparks within the DockHounds lineup. 

“I get my production and energy from others,” Hernandez said. “It’s not self-proclaimed work, it’s really the energy I get from others. We try to motivate each other and just try to pass the bat. That’s all I try to think of is putting myself in a position to pass the bat to the next guy.” 

In his last 10 games, Hernandez leads the team with a .389 average while collecting 14 hits, eight RBIs and three home runs. His offensive production has paced the team for the majority of the season. 

“Hernandez has been doing it pretty well all year,” Huckaby said. 

As for Chlup, after straining his hamstring while running the bases, he has returned with a vengeance. In his five games back, Chlup has a .294 average with two home runs and four RBIs. 

“Chlup is finally starting to figure out his swing,” Huckaby said. “He was lost there a little while to start the year, but in the last couple of games, he’s kind of started to figure it out. It’s going to help us out when he gets hot.” 

His recent success has also reassured him. 

“It’s definitely been a boost of confidence,” Chlup said. “I consider myself a power hitter and power hitters get into slumps sometimes. But I think it’s going to help me through the season because we still have a lot of games. Now I know what to do and I can keep helping the team.”

Other players like Demetrius Sims and Bryan Bonnell are also being leaned upon to weather the storm. With the Cleburne Railroaders coming to Lake Country for a six-game series, the DockHounds look to stay composed and compete against the first-place team. 

“We just have to take this one game at a time,” Huckaby said. “Go out there and play tonight as hard as we can and then turn around and give the ball to (John) Swanda and turn around tomorrow and give the ball to Brett (Conine).”

Hernandez, too, remains modestly confident in the big week ahead. 

“Just staying within ourselves and not being focused on the other team,” Hernandez said. “Yes, they are a good team, but we are a really, really good team.

“This could be the opportunity for us to showcase to the league what we really have as a group.”

Written By: Noah Douglas


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