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Stromberg Fires 10 Strikeouts In 2-1 Kingfish Extra Inning Loss

KENOSHA, Wis. – The Kenosha Kingfish (33-30, 11-17) dropped their third straight game and sixth of their last seven on Friday as the Lakeshore Chinooks (34-29, 16-12) made a late rally to secure a 2-1 win in 10 innings at Historic Simmons Field. With the loss, the Kingfish fell to fifth place in the Northwoods League South Division standings, one game out of the final playoff spot.

The Kingfish plated a run in the first inning thanks in part to a wild play in which second baseman Mike Madej (Purdue), who reached on a one-out walk, stole second and was able to run all the way to third when the throw down from the Lakeshore catcher clipped Madej in the foot and ricocheted into left field. Center fielder Jack Yalowitz then muscled a pop-up into no-man’s land behind third base, driving in Madej with an RBI single.

Kenosha’s bats fell quiet following that run-scoring single, but left-handed starter Zach Stromberg (Boston College) provided plenty of fireworks on the mound to make up for it.

Stromberg got himself into trouble early in the evening, allowing two of the first three hitters of the game to reach on singles to right field. After he stranded both of those baserunners in the first, he loaded the bases with no outs in the second with a hit-by-pitch, single and walk. Three strikeouts later, Stromberg was out of the inning with no damage again.

From there, the lefty cruised. Two more reached and were stranded after an error and a single in the third, with another reaching on a two-out walk in the fourth. Following that walk, Stromberg retired each of his last seven hitters, and nine of his last 10 overall. In six shutout innings, Stromberg walked just two and struck out 10, the most for any Kingfish pitcher in 2017.

Justin Hasek came into the game in relief in the seventh inning and picked up right where Stromberg left off, firing four strikeouts in two innings of shutout baseball.

Lakeshore finally caught its break, though, in the ninth inning off Kingfish closer Billy McKay (Florida). The Kingfish made a pair of errors in the inning on would-be groundouts, allowing the tying run to touch home plate and make it a 1-1 game.

The Chinooks didn’t need any help from Kenosha’s defense in the 10th inning, starting the frame with a double and a single in the first three hitters. They brought in the go-ahead run on a groundout back to McKay on the mound, and that was all that was needed to polish off a tough loss for the Kingfish.

Right fielder Austin Bodrato (Florida) went 2-for-4 in this one, while first baseman Derek Bangert (Bradley) finished 1-for-3 with a single and a hit-by-pitch. Left fielder Nick Kanavas (Kent State) reached three times on a single and two walks.

The Kingfish will now travel to Wisconsin Rapids for a weekend series before returning home on Monday for a doubleheader against the Rockford Rivets.