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9th Inning Surge Falls Short as Chinooks Lose to Green Bay in Extra Innings Thursday

As if Wednesday’s game never ended, the pitching duel between the Lakeshore Chinooks and the Green Bay Bullfrogs continued Thursday night as the Bullfrogs snuck away with a 3-1 victory over the Chinooks in 10 innings.  It was the second time in four games versus the Bullfrogs this season that has gone into extra innings.  The previous came on opening day with a 3-2 victory for the Chinooks in 11 innings.

The head-to-head pitching challenge was between Andrew Waszak (Michigan State) for the Chinooks and Taylor Black for the Bullfrogs.  Waszak pitched 7 near-perfect innings, giving up only 1 run on 3 hits with 4 walks and 4 K’s.  His counterpart, Black, lasted 5 innings while also giving up only 1 run on 3 hits, 3 walks, with 4 K’s.  Both pitchers left the game with a tie score and did not factor into the decision. “(Waszak) gave us a strong performance again today and a performance that we were thinking we were going to bring into a win, but it turns out it didn’t work out,” said Head Coach John Vodenlich.

The Bullfrogs were once again the first team on the scoreboard as they inked their first run in the second inning.  Waszak allowed the first two batters to reach base, hitting Justin Seager with a pitch inside and then allowing Clayton Eslick to reach safely as he overthrew first base on the play.  The Bullfrogs capitalized with the very next batter as Duncan McAlpine singled to shallow right to bring in Seager.

In the midst of another pitching duel, the Chinooks were able to even the score at 1-1 in the fourth.  German Reyes (Winston-Salem) led off the inning with a single before stealing second with Eric Aguilera (Illinois State) batting.  Aguilera grounded out to first baseman McAlpine but was able to advance Reyes to third.  First baseman Ryan Krill (Michigan State) followed with an RBI fielder’s choice.  The Bullfrogs defense tried for the out at the plate, but Reyes beat out the tag to score.

The Bullfrogs threatened in the 6th as Eslick drew a walk to start the inning.  Caleb Dugas later singled before Mike Fischer grounded into a fielder’s choice to eliminate the lead-runner at third.  Waszak then got Ransom LaLonde to swing under a pitch and pop out to end the inning. 

Krill drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the 9th with Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) coming in to pinch run.  Ryan Ussery (UAB) then executed the sacrifice bunt to advance Chadwick to second.  With an open base at first, the Bullfrogs opted to intentionally walk Zack Granite (Seton Hall) to set up the potential double play. 

Nate Ruzich (South Suburban), who came in on the double switch, drew a walk on a full count to load the bases for the Chinooks with one out.  Vodenlich opted for Ty Young (Louisville) to pinch hit for Matt Morse (UAB), who was 0-3 on the night.  Young struck out swinging before Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) came up with the bases loaded and two outs.  Despite Markson continuing his 13-game hit streak with a single and a double early in the game, the Chinooks weren’t able to bring in the walk-off run they were hoping for and sent the game into extra innings for the first time at Kapco Park.  “It came down to the 9th inning, but we did have a lot of opportunities early on to not be in that position, but at the end of the day we were in that position.  In my instance, you try to filter out the situation you’re in and kind of treat it like another at bat and (DJ Slaton) just beat me with a fastball,” said Markson.

Tyler Sparger (Indian Hills CC), who got the call from the bullpen in the 8th, pitched two quick innings before getting into some trouble in the 10th with two outs.  Sparger loaded the bases on back-to-back infield singles before bobbling an easy toss to first that allowed Seager to reach on the error.  Eslick followed with a slow chopper to second where the fielder’s choice was headed, but beat out the ball to bring in Brian Celsi.  The Bullfrogs tacked on another run when a wild pitch allowed David Armendariz to score as well before striking out the batter.

The Chinooks 10th inning rally fell short as all three batters were retired in order.  Sparger took the loss for the Chinooks, while Slaton got the win for the Bullfrogs.  With the series tied at one win a piece, the rubber match will happen tomorrow night at Kapco Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.