Eric Semmelhack’s (UW-Milwaukee) first start with the Chinooks was more than just a first game in a Chinook uniform on Wednesday night. Semmelhack was on the mound for the first time as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization after being drafted in the 12th round. Semmelhack pitched 5 innings with 3 hits, 6 BBs, 4 K’s, and 2 earned runs against the Battle Creek Bombers.
After starting the game with two pop-outs in the first inning, Semmelhack struggled with the three and four hitters as he walked both. After a meeting on the mound with manager John Vodenlich, Semmelhack settled down and pitched strong 5 innings with fast balls topping out at 93 mph in the top of the fourth.
The Chinooks took the lead in the 6th as Sam Koenig (UW-Milwaukee) scored the go-ahead run for the second consecutive night, but the bullpen collapsed, giving up 9 runs in the 8th inning to put the Chinooks on the wrong side of an 11-4 score. Pitcher Tyler Sparger ( Indian Hills CC) and the Chinooks infield had plenty of opportunities to end the inning, but a series of gap grounders and defensive miscues kept the inning alive for the Bombers.
The Chinooks tried to rally in the 8th, but a great defensive play by Bombers pitcher Scott Simmons almost successfully completed a triple play. The Bombers settled for a double play and a strikeout to close the door on the Chinooks.
The lopsided game was decided in the 8th as Matt Harjung and Scott Simmons drew even in the ninth to end the game 11-4. Up next for the Chinooks is a rematch with the Bombers at 6:35 tomorrow at Kapco Park.