With a refreshing 81 degree game time temperature and clean slate to the standings, the Chinooks looked to bring down the La Crosse Loggers, who won the first half of the Northwoods League South Division. A scoreless game through seven innings was broken up by the Loggers as they exploded for 7 runs off Josh Uhen (UWM) in route to a 7-0 win over the Chinooks Thursday night. La Crosse put Scott Schultz on the mound against Chris Cotton (LSU), who went 6 complete innings. Cotton scattered just 2 hits while striking out a season high 8 batters.
“I was able to get ahead, mix the speeds up, and use all my pitches for strikes,” said Cotton, who also jokingly credited his new shampoo for allowing his hair to flow better out the back of his ball cap.
Being on a pitch limit from LSU, Cotton was able to throw the most pitches he’s thrown since his high school days as a starter. “I was feeling it honestly in the later innings. I wasn’t able to get ahead as much, but I was able to battle and get out of (the 6th) inning and keep going.”
Schultz pitched a complete game shutout for the Loggers and deservingly earned the win. Uhen took the loss for the Chinooks.
“He wasn’t throwing. He didn’t have his stuff. He didn’t do anything he needed to do to get people out,” said Head Coach John Vodenlich on Uhen’s disastrous 8th inning.
After a quick and quiet 7 innings, the Loggers brought out their leftover fireworks from last night as Brandon Farney led off the inning with double to center field. Uhen intentionally walked Steven Pallares to set up the potential double play ball from Joe Meggs, who instead hit an infield single to score Farney. Back-to-back singles loaded the bases and drove in another run to put the Loggers up 2-0. Uhen managed to get Matt Chapman to pop out for the second out of the inning, but threw a wild pitch past catcher Nate Ruzich (South Suburban) that allowed Meggs to score. A walk loaded the bases one more time before Brandon Bednar hit a grand slam to give the Loggers 7 runs in the inning and a 7-0 lead.
The Chinooks, who had scattered 5 hits of their own through the first 7 innings, put together back-to-back singles by Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) and Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) in their half of the 8th inning, but were left stranded on base.
Ryan Harris (Florida) took over on the mound in the 9th and took the Loggers down in order. “He’s going to get a lot of innings down the stretch. He wants to throw. He’s eager to throw. He wants to prove to some people that he can pitch, and I think he’s doing that,” commented Vodenlich on the immediate success of Harris who joined the team only recently.
The Chinooks 9th inning rally was sparked by a Ryan Ussery (UAB), 2-out, triple; which unfortunately ended with the next batter as Ruzich grounded out to end the game.
The Chinooks will look to even the score with the Loggers tomorrow with Joe Greenfield (South Suburban) on the mound for a 7:05pm start at Kapco Park.