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Published On: July 7th, 2012


Nick Soldano (North Park) pitched 6.1 stellar innings for the Chinooks to set-up their 3-1 victory over the La Crosse Loggers in front of a near record crowd Saturday night.  Soldano out-pitched Loggers starter Alex Gunn who took the loss. 

“Everything was working today.  Me and Connor (Lynch) worked pretty good with each other; had good defense behind me and good hitting.  I’m just glad we got to pull this one off,” commented Soldano on his start tonight.

The Loggers struck first in the 4th inning on a mess of errors by the Chinooks defense.  Prigatano safely reached first for the Loggers on a single to center field to lead off the inning.  A pick-off attempt by Soldano missed German Reyes (Winston Salem) at first and allowed Prigatano to steal second and third.  The throw to third by Reyes was also off the mark and sailed into the bleachers.  Prigatano was awarded an additional 90 feet on the play and crossed home plate to put the Loggers ahead 1-0.

Eric Aguilera (Illinois State) provided a spark the in 5th with a lead-off single that was the first of three consecutive hits for the Chinooks.  With a base runner aboard, Ryan Ussery (UAB) hit a triple to score Aguilera.  Loggers’ center fielder Boomer Collins positioned for the catch, but realized that the ball was further back than he thought.  Collins sprinted back at the last second, only to see the ball sail over his outreached glove and a run scoring.  David Masters (Arkansas) kept the hits coming after going 3-for-4 last night with an RBI single the snuck past the second baseman into center field to put the Chinooks up 2-1.

The Chinooks tacked on another run in the 6th when Reyes singled to start the inning.  After a single by Brian Anderson (Arkansas) advanced Reyes into scoring position, Aguilera hit a sharp liner down the first base line into right field for an RBI double.

With the Chinooks up 3-1, Soldano was back on the mound in the 7th.  After recording the first out of the inning and giving up a single, Head Coach John Vodenlich went to the bullpen for former Loggers pitcher and recently signed Chinook, Tyler Verthein (UW-La Crosse).

“He hit 99 pitches and we don’t want to have to lose him for 6 days.  This way we can throw him in our 5 man rotation and get this option as well.  It was all about pitch count.  He was cruising and he was still throwing the ball well,” said Coach Vodenlich.

Vertein made his Chinooks debut by finishing out the remainder of the game without allowing a hit.  Vodenlich had no hesitation with signing Verthein since he watched him pitch at UW-La Crosse against his Whitewater Warhawks.  “I had 100% confident on how he was going to go about his business.”

Matt Morse (UAB) reached safely in the 7th with a bunt single that ended a 0-for-13 slump at the plate.  Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) followed with a bloop single to left field that advanced Morse to 3rd on the hit-and-run.  With runners on the corners and one out, Reyes grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The 3-1 lead was all the Chinooks needed to get the game and series win over the Loggers.  Bre’ Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) ended his 24 game hit-streak in tonight’s win, but was compensated for by the rest of his team as 7-of-9 Chinooks batters recorded a hit.

Vodenlich praised his hitters and commented on Kimbell’s near league record hit streak coming to an end.  “He’s as good of hitter now as he was before the game when he had the streak.  Streaks come to an end that’s just how it is.  He’ll come in tomorrow and start a new streak.”

The Chinooks have a rare off day tomorrow before a road series against the Wisconsin Woodchucks.  The Chinooks are back at home Wednesday and then again for a three game weekend series against Eau Claire starting Friday.