The Chinooks faced the 21-3, top seeded, Wisconsin Woodchucks in Thursday night’s 3-1 loss. The opponent’s record wasn’t the only thing on the minds of the Chinooks. The Woodchucks’ ace-hurler, Jack Fischer, who entered the game with a 6-1 record and 1.80 ERA, and the pressure to continue their current five-game win streak, added additional meaning to Thursday’s matchup.
Cody Glenn (LSU) opened the game on the mound for the Chinooks as he looked to out-perform the highly talented arm throwing against him.
The pitching duel lasted all nine innings as hits were hard to come by throughout the night. Fischer was precise with his pitch placement; allowing a walk for the first time in the 7th inning. Glenn allowed one hit in each of the first four innings before retiring 12 of 13 batters faced. His sole mistake came in the 3rd inning on a Mike Bernal solo-blast to left field to give the Woodchucks their lone run of the game.
“After missing with two change-ups, I had to go at him with a fastball; I tried to miss low, but left it over the plate,” commented Glenn on the solo home run he gave up.
Fischer dominated the Chinooks early on, throwing a shutout through six innings. The Chinooks finally broke through in the 7th. Following a double by Brian Anderson (Arkansas), the Chinooks managed to load the bases for Cody Yount (Pepperdine) who launched a fastball into deep centerfield, finding the mitt of centerfielder Eric Filia-Snyder, but scoring Anderson from third to tie the game at 1-1.
Fischer was retired with one out in the 7th, leaving the mound after giving up one run on four hits, two walks, and seven K’s. His replacement, Jackson Lowry, was just as efficient on the mound, forcing the final eight outs of the game.
Glenn retired the mound, allowing four hits, one run, and striking out two, to Rex Morrow (MATC Madison) in the 8th after struggling to get the third out of the inning. Morrow ended the 8th with ease before struggling with his command in the 9th; allowing two walks prior to being pulled for Evin Einhardt (Wabash Valley CC). Einhardt gave the crowd confidence with his opening strikeout, but found himself in trouble as he surrendered the game winning run with two outs on an infield RBI single by Bernal. The Woodchucks scored an insurance run with their next at-bat on a wild pitch to take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the 9th, both runs were accredited to Morrow.
“We were in a 1-1 ballgame and that’s a very emotional time. The moment they went up 2-1 we felt it and we felt it in a bad way and we lost focus,” said Head Coach John Vodenlich. “Had it stayed a 2-1 ballgame I think it’s a different situation. I think they feel different about what’s going on in that last inning; I think we feel different about what’s going on.”
The Chinooks fought valiantly in the bottom of the 9th by loading the bases for Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) who was unable to find any magic with a strikeout to end the game.
The Woodchucks’ Jackson Lowry earned the W as Morrow took the L for the Chinooks. The Chinooks (14-11) will hit the field for game two against the Woodchucks tomorrow at 7:05p.m. at Kapco Park. Get to the park early for the fantastic Friday Fish-Fry!