Joe Greenfield Defuses Bombers Thursday, 8-2
The Chinooks refused to succumb to a steady rain and constantly changing wind for a second straight night. Thursday’s 8-2 win over the Battle Creek Bombers comes one day removed from a 2-1 loss that concluded early due to severe weather at the end of six innings.
The Chinooks’ Joe Greenfield (South Suburban College) started the game atop the “rain drenched” mound and absolutely dominated for 7.2 innings, throwing seven strikeouts, walking four, allowing no runs, and retiring 14 straight batters. Joe Battistelli represented the Bombers on the mound for a quick one inning as he struggled to gain control of his pitches; allowing three runs.
Greenfield appeared oblivious to the inclement weather in the top of the 1st, as he forced a groundout to open the game and finished off the next two batters with consecutive strike outs.
“The rain doesn’t really bother me. I felt good out there and you just fight through it,” said Greenfield about the weather and his ability to pitch through it. “With a comfortable lead you have to remain focused and keep your pitches under control.”
The Chinooks’ offense followed the strong performance by Greenfield with a three-run 1st inning. The first three Chinooks to appear at the plate reached base to give their best hitter, Eric Aguilera (Illinois State), a chance to light up the scoreboard with no outs. Aguilera managed to hit a line drive to second base to score Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) and give the Chinooks their first run of the game. The Chinooks next run came at the hands of their newest player, Michael Jurgella (St. Cloud State), who reached first on a fielder’s-choice to score Forrest Chadwick (U. Southern Maine) from third, was followed by Ryan Krill’s (MSU) RBI single to score Jurgella.
The Bombers’ replacement for Battistelli, Kyle Teague, was unable to rain on the Chinooks’ parade at the plate. He pitched 4.1 innings, allowing three hits, five runs (four earned), three walks and struck out five.
With the Bombers still unable to crack Greenfield through the first three innings, the Chinooks added to their 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Jurgella continued his strong debut at the plate with his an RBI single, proceeded by Krill’s second RBI to increase the lead to 5-0.
After a quiet two innings by the Chinooks, the Bomber’s pitching staff collapsed; allowing five walks and three runs in the 6th. With the bases loaded and one out, Markson was walked to force Jurgella home for the Chinooks’ sixth run; ending Teague’s night. Brian Thene inherited Teague’s loaded infield and was unable to get out of the jam unscarred. After striking out one, he threw a ball into the dirt that got away from the catcher on a pitch to Bre’ Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) who reached 2nd on the wild pitch and two of the three base runners reached home to increase the lead to 8-0. The inning finally ended on a highly questionable call by the umpire staff to stop the bleeding by the Bombers.
The Chinooks made their sole pitching change in the 8th inning when Kevin Nutley (St. Norberts) replaced Greenfield to close out the victory. Nutley threw a rough 1.1 innings, giving up three hits, two runs, walking 2 and striking out three, while holding onto the win.
One of the biggest surprises coming off tonight’s victory was the performance of Jurgella, who proved extremely valuable in the Chinooks’ eight runs. “Tonight was my first time playing with these great guys. I loved it and thought I played well,” said Jurgella regarding his new team. “My teammates seem likes awesome guys and they have been very accepting.”
The Chinooks move back to .500 with tonight’s win and find themselves in third place in the South Division. Greenfield will take the win tonight which moves his personal record to 4-1 on the season. They take their show on the road tomorrow when they play the Green Bay Bullfrogs at 7:05pm. They return home Sunday for one game against the Bullfrogs at 5:05pm at Kapco Park.