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Chinooks Axe Woodchucks Monday, 8-1

The Woodchucks were unable to produce at the plate with the Chinooks’ Cody Glenn (LSU) owning the mound for the first four innings as the Chinooks beat the Woodchucks 8-1 Monday night.  Glenn allowed no hits in the 3rd and 4th innings, finishing the night with five hits, one walk, one strike out and one run in five innings of work.  

The Chinooks offense seemed ready for action in the 1st as Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) was on his way home from second base on a Ty Young (Louisville) shot to the centerfield gap, but was unable to score as Brooks Braga made an amazing diving-grab to end the inning, and keep the Chinooks off the board.

The Chinooks would not be shutout again in the 2nd, Nate Ruzich (S. Suburban College), fresh off signing his contract to remain with the team for the rest of year, opened up the game in the 2nd with a line-drive double down the right field line to score Eric Aguilera (Illinois State) from third and Scott Wilcox (W. Kentucky) from second. Ruzich’s connection at home plate gave the Chinooks a 2-0 lead.

With Glenn continuing his shutout, the Chinooks struck again in the 3rd. Bre Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the 3rd. Kimbell was able to score the Chinooks’ third run of the game on an error by Third Baseman Brandon Hayden on a Young single.

The Woodchucks lack of runs was not due to a lack of effort. Absent clutch-hitting spoiled any chances for the Woodchucks as they were unable to score in the 2nd and 3rd innings, to the credit of Glenn, stranding two base-runners in each inning.

The Woodchucks managed to get on the board in the 5th with an RBI single by Brad Mckewon to score Eric Filia-Snyder who reached third on two consecutive steals from first.

The 6th inning offered the Chinooks a grand chance at putting the game out of reach for the Woodchucks. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ruzich struck out to end the inning with no runs scored; keeping the score 3-1.

Glenn was spelled after five strong innings by Ryan Harris (Florida), who continued the great play from the mound with no runs allowed and four innings of action. Harris showed how strong a player he is with his 9th inning performance. In the 9th, he struck out the final two batters and having already thrown over 40 pitches, he was still throwing over 94 mph.

“Great, great pitching.  Great start, good defense.  Ryan Harris came in and just didn’t want to come out. Our plan was to extend him 2 innings and he came in after that second inning and said ‘I want to finish’.  So we let him finish, and he finished with some great stuff,” said Head Coach John Vodenlich on the pitching performances by both his guys.

Kimbell, known for big hits, came up big in the 7th with a high-flying double off the centerfield wall that scored Zack Granite (Seton Hall) to increase the lead to 4-1. Kimbell, after reaching third base on a groundout by Young, scored the Chinooks’ fifth run on a wild pitch by Mark Royer who entered at the start of the 7th.

“I love to drive in runs.  I’ll sacrifice my batting average and everything else; I’m just trying to help the team out in any which way and get a win,” Kimbell said on leading the Northwoods League South Division in RBI’s.

The Chinooks weren’t done at the plate in the 8th. After three consecutive walks by the Woodchucks’ Gage Green, a wild pitch sent Ruzich home to score the first of three runs. The following two runs came at the hands of Kimbell, who else, with another timely hit to score Granite and Chadwick. Kimbell’s single increased the lead to 8-1 and gave him three RBI’s on the night.

The Chinooks played a complete game Monday, connecting at the plate on 11 hits and playing flawless on defense with no errors. Monday’s win brought the Chinooks within one game of .500 and one game behind the Wisconsin Woodchucks for third place in the South Division.

“This is as close as we’ve gotten to a complete game in a long time and pitching is where it starts, but it’s easier to play defense behind a pitcher that’s throwing strikes and putting the ball in play, so we pitched to contact, we threw strikes today and the people behind him played well,” said Vodenlich on the team’s performance.

Cody Glenn takes the W for the Chinooks and the Woodchucks’ Jack Fischer received the L.

Up next for the Chinooks is a road trip to Eau Claire for a two game series with the Express before returning home Thursday to battle the La Crosse Loggers.