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Richardson’s Walk-Off Heroics Lift Chinooks Over Bullfrogs

 

Mequon, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (7-4) defeated the Green Bay Bullfrogs in walk-off fashion Saturday night, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win, 3-2.

Neither team had any success early in this one, with both starters tossing five shutout innings. An Alex Pener RBI single for the Bullfrogs was the first tally of the game for either side, as Green Bay took a 1-0 lead.

The Chinooks’ defense, which has been shaky at times, looked good in the 6th, with an over-the-shoulder, Willie Mays style, catch from Owen Miller (Illinois State) that saved two runs and preserved the 1-0 game.

The Bullfrogs would tack on another run in the top of the 8th on an Alex Pener RBI single, giving Green Bay a 2-0 lead. The inning should have ended before Pener even stepped to the plate, but a throwing error by Owen Miller allowed Mikey Filia to reach first base and eventually come around to score on the Pener base knock.

With things looking bleak for Lakeshore, the Bullfrogs sent out their starter, Michael Bohlke, in the bottom of the 8th with seven shutout innings under his belt. The Chinooks had fits against Bohlke all night, but cracked the scoreboard on an RBI single from TJ Raguse (Baylor), plating Caleb Dean (Lamar) after he doubled a batter earlier.

Green Bay starter, Michael Bohlke, silenced the bats of the Chinooks with eight innings of one-run ball, as Lakeshore ran into an over-powering pitcher for a second straight game. Friday night, Simon Rosenblum-Larson tossed five shutout innings against the Chinooks en route to shutting down Lakeshore.

Not only did the Bullfrogs get a quality outing from their starter, but the Chinook also received six solid innings from starter, Austin Havekost (Kent State). Havekost allowed just one run over six innings while striking out five, marking his third straight start allowing one run over six innings.

The Bullfrogs sent out Ethan Evanko, the tall lefty from Grand Canyon University, to try and save the game and finish off the Chinooks in the bottom of the 9th. With two outs and the Bullfrogs on the verge of getting the win, Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) rocketed a single to left-center to keep the Chinooks alive.

After getting the night off, Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas) was called upon from the Chinooks’ bench to pinch-hit for Owen Miller. Richardson let ball one pass by, but on the second pitch of the at-bat, “J-Rich” crushed a ball to deep left-center to walk things off for Lakeshore. After making the trek around the bases, Richardson was mobbed by his teammates at home, as the team celebrated the 3-2 win over the Bullfrogs.

After the walk-off heroics, Richardson said, “First off, I was excited when I saw a lefty come out because I’m a lot better against left-handed pitchers, and especially when you start out in that situation, two guys out and nobody on, it’s just about passing it to the next guy.”

Richardson also praised Rylan Thomas’ two-out single, as it set the stage for Richardson. “You know, honestly, you could give credit to Rylan for that home run because he jumped on that first pitch and hit it into left-center. Rylan hitting that ball hard like he did, it gave me a lot of confidence walking up to the plate in that situation.”

As part of the walk-off tradition, Richardson was soaked with a bucket full of Gatorade while getting interviewed post-game, and responded only like Jacob Richardson can.

“It’s a little cold. It probably would feel a little better in Arkansas than in Wisconsin.”

Fans at the game were not only treated to fireworks on the field, but fittingly, were treated to a post-game fireworks show that had everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing.

The Lakeshore Chinooks (7-4) head to Green Bay for a Sunday matchup with the Bullfrogs again, as Lakeshore looks to carry some of this magic into the final game before the all-star break.

The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.