The sun’s rays remained on the diamond for the entirety of the game for the first time this year as the Chinooks defeated the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 10 to 8 Saturday, at Kapco Park. It was the first day-game held at Kapco Park and the fans would not be disappointed.
The Chinooks offense erupted as they saw the light early on from the plate, scoring 10 runs in the first three innings. The Chinooks were represented on the mound by Eric King (UWM) who played in his final game, while on a temporary contract, for the Chinooks. He went 5.2 innings, giving up five hits, four runs, three walks and two K’s.
Ty Young (Louisville) was the first to light up the score board for the Chinooks as he hit a two RBI triple in the 1st inning.
Bre Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) continued his hot hitting with three RBI’s on the day to give the Chinooks a healthy lead. Kimbell is currently hitting .400 and stands near the top of the Northwoods League in that department.
“I’ve been seeing the ball really well recently and I’m able to get the bat on it,” said Kimbell on his recent play at the plate. “We as a team are showing what we can do on offense. We are a great hitting team that is rounding into form.”
Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) returned to the lineup and reminded everyone why he is so important to the team, hitting an RBI single to increase the lead to 4-0 in the 2nd inning.
The offense paraded around the bases in the 3rd with a two RBI triple by Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine), a two RBI double by Kimbell and a two RBI single by German Reyes (Winston Salem) to push the lead to 10-0. The entire Chinooks’ lineup appeared at the plate in the 3rd.
The Chinooks’ offensive production quickly disappeared after the 3rd as they ascertained no runs and no hits in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. During that lull in production, the Rafters took advantage by scoring five runs to cut the lead in half. In the 6th, the Rafters’ Brandon Downes hit a line drive solo-homerun to right field to give them their first run. Afterward, Alex Bacon wanted a piece of the action and struck a monstrous slam of his own that scored three runs over the left field wall.
The Chinooks initiated a pitching carousel in the latter half of the 6th inning. Tyler Thicke (MATC Madison) pitched 1/3 of an inning, giving up two runs. He was then replaced by Joe Greenfield (S. Suburban College) who threw for just over one inning and gave up two runs on no hits. The final change on the mound came in the 8th when Tyler Sparger (Indian Hills CC) closed out the Rafters’ potential comeback, after a run scored in the first 1/3 of the 8th, with a shutout 1.2 innings.
Luckily for the Chinooks, their early offensive onslaught was enough to hold onto the win. The Chinooks have to address their recurring trend of giving up late leads. With bullpen improvement, the Chinooks have a promising outlook for the remainder of their inaugural season.
With the win, the Chinooks win their three game series with the Rafters, 2-1. Up next is the Wisconsin Woodchucks, who are currently 1.5 games ahead of the Chinooks for third place in the South Division. Tomorrow’s game is at 1:35p.m. at Kapco Park.