Friday’s 10-2 Win Brings Chinooks to .500

Friday the 13th proved a myth for the Chinooks Friday night. A day after being blown out in Green Bay 15-6, they blew the Eau Claire Express out of Kapco Park, 10-2. The good news didn’t end with the victory, two of the Chinooks most feared hitters, Bre’ Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) and Eric Aguilera (Illinois State), discovered they were selected to the South Division All Star roster as they arrived to the ballpark Friday.

Kimbell has stood tall at the plate, compiling 35 RBI’s on 48 hits and three bombs through 34 games, and Aguilera, 23 RBI’s on 59 hits, three bombs and 15 doubles to pace the Chinooks’ offense through the first half of the season.

Both are looking forward to the opportunity to represent, for the first time, the Lakeshore Chinooks. “We’re going to have some fun, but represent at the same time,” said Kimbell.

Aguilera added, “Feels like hot sauce! It’s a good feeling, especially to represent the team. There are a lot of people that are capable of being there and it’s an honor to be selected.”

The game started slow at the plate, no runs were garnered through the first four innings. Joe Greenfield (S. Suburban College) tossed for the Chinooks, making his 5th start of the season (3-1), giving up no runs, on four hits, and striking out 9 in 7 innings pitched.

“I was trying to keep them off balance. My slider was working really well and my change-up was also working well,” said Greenfield. “I didn’t come out as fresh as I wanted to, but after the second double I knew what I had to do.”

The Express were represented on the mound by Kyle Winter, who pitched a strong first three innings; giving up only one hit and no runs. After a two hit, one run 4th, Winter seemed to have regained his control with a one-two-three inning. However, the Chinooks were able to zero-in on Winter in the 6th inning erupting for six runs.

The Chinooks’ first run came on a Brian Anderson (Arkansas) 6-3 groundout RBI to score All Star third baseman Kimbell in the 4th.

Through six innings, Greenfield continued to dominate the mound, and the offense took off. Kimbell scored his second run of the game on an Aguilera RBI single; his second hit of the game. He was then driven home on an RBI single by Anderson. After two consecutive singles, Connor Lynch (GA. Tech) and David Masters (Arkansas) drove in one and two runs, respectively.

Winters was pulled in the 5th with two outs. He gave up six earned runs on six hits.

The Express replacement, Derek Quame offered little relief in the 7th, giving up four runs. Two of those runs came off a Forrest Chadwick (U. Southern Maine) bomb over the right field wall. The 7th inning ended with a comfortable 10-0 Chinook lead.

Greenfield was relieved in the 7th by Tim Verthein (La Crosse) who was unable to hold the shutout, but managed to close the game out.

“Baseball is typically won by our starter and Greenfield pitched a great game. He had great command of his slider and his fastball. He put up a couple zeros early and that helped us get going offensively,” said Assistant Coach Eddie Morgan.

Friday’s win included plenty of fun for the fans. Every player in the Chinooks’ lineup reached base, Kimbell reached home three separate times, and a homerun topped the night off.

“You’re not always going to get a hit so let’s work the pitcher a bit. If we start focusing on getting quality at bats we’re going to put together a good stretch,” said Morgan. “It’s important for us to get a three-four-five game win streak.

The Express put up two runs in the 8th inning on an error by centerfielder Ryan Ussery (UAB) and an RBI single by Josh Scheffert to cement the score at 10-2 going into the bottom of the 9th.

Tomorrow’s game is at 3:05 at Kapco Park for game two of three against the Eau Claire Express.


Note: Head Coach John Vodenlich sat out his first of a three game suspension by the Northwoods League tonight. Vodenlich pitched Nick Soldano (North Park) a day earlier than allowed by the league based on his previous outing’s pitch count.  “We’re new to the league and it was one of those league rules we overlooked.  Nick was scheduled to throw a bullpen session and he likes to throw “life” so we decided to put him in the game and found out later we couldn’t do that,” said Morgan who is at the helm for the Chinooks for the remainder of the weekend series.