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Lakeshore Tabbed as Top Summer Collegiate Team in the Nation

Chinooks went 50-21 in the regular season and a perfect 4-0 in the NWL playoffs

By – Dean Rennicke, Lakeshore Chinooks GM

Mequon, Wis – Perfect Game, the largest amateur baseball scouting service in the country, released its final 2014 Summer Collegiate Baseball Teams Top 50 rankings and named the Lakeshore Chinooks of the Northwoods League as their number one team in the country.

“It is an incredible honor and we are thrilled by getting recognized as the top summer collegiate team in the nation,” commented team President, Jim Kacmarcik.  Currently there are over fifty sanctioned collegiate summer baseball leagues in the United States.

The Lakeshore Chinooks, in only their third season, were able to win the very competitive 2014 Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series Championship by defeating the Mankato MoonDogs two games to none. The series win capped a remarkable season for the Chinooks. The Chinooks finished the regular season with an overall record of 50-21, winning both halves in the South Division and sweeping both the Division Series and Championship series two games to none. The fifty Regular Season wins tied them for the second most wins in the history of the Northwoods League regular season and with the four playoff wins it tied them for first with the most total wins in the league.

“When we look back at this season and all the great things that happened, hosting the Northwoods League All-Star Game, the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig speaking at the All-Star Banquet, winning the league title and then getting named the top collegiate summer baseball team in the country, it is stunning.”  “It’s a credit to the coaches, led by Manager Eddy Morgan, the young men who played for us and the staff.  As an organization we are truly blessed and humbled by what this season brought,” said Kacmarcik.

Individually the team was well recognized throughout the year as four Chinooks players made the mid-season Northwoods League All-Star game, Blake Butler (Charleston), Brett Siddall (Canisius), Andrew Elliot (Wright State) and Joe Pavlovich (UW-Milwaukee).  The post season awards saw even more recognition as Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee) joined Elliot and Siddall on the Post-Season All-Star Team, in addition Eddy Morgan was named NWL Manager of the Year, Mark Moriarty, the Chinooks Pitching Coach, was named NWL Coach of the Year and Kapco Park was given the Best Playing Surface in the league.

“Throughout the season these guys came to the ballpark ready to improve and work hard to be better players,” said Chinooks Manager, Eddy Morgan.  “Like any championship team, it was a combination of things, all year we had tremendous pitching to go along with a talented, athletic defense and timely hitting.  Our offense seemed to step up when we needed it most.”  Morgan added, “It also was a close-knit group that grinded it out throughout the season.”

The pitching staff was led by starters Evan Kruczynski (East Carolina) with six wins, and three pitchers with five wins each, Shaun Anderson (Florida), Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) and Pavlovich. In addition, the bullpen was a strength all year as Elliot led the team in saves with thirteen and set-up man Tuttle gave up only one earned run in 30 innings pitched.

Offensively, Jake Noll (Florida Gulf Coast) and Siddall paced the team with a .316 and .313 average respectively.  Siddall also led the team with nine home runs and 43 RBI’s to go along with winning the NWL Home Run Challenge during the All-Star festivities.

Last year the team qualified for the playoffs and lost in the Divisional Series.  The final 2013 Perfect Game Poll ranked them 21st in the country.

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The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.