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Published On: August 11th, 2012

It seems Jason Hoppe (Minnesota State) loves to face the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. On July 30th Hoppe was outstanding at Kapco Park despite a driving rainstorm.  That day, Hoppe surrendered just three hits and struck out seven in a complete game effort despite a driving rainstorm.  The only blemish that day, a two-run homerun in the fifth inning.  What could we expect for an encore?

Saturday night brought more of the same.  This time Hoppe was even better, helping the Chinooks top the Rafters 4-0 at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids.

For the second night in a row, Lakeshore got on the board early thanks to shaky Rafter defense.  Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) reached on a one out single.  He then was able to move into scoring position after a ball in the dirt squirted away from the catcher.  Lakeshore’s hottest hitter, Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) delivered an RBI single to give the Chinooks the early 1-0 lead.

Hoppe made sure that lead would hold up.  He quickly dispatched the Rafters, recording three straight strikeouts to open his evening.

Wisconsin Rapids mounted a threat against the right hander in the second, putting a pair of runners in scoring position but Hoppe was able to retire Kenny Towns on a fly out to right and dance out of trouble. 

From that point forward, Hoppe was locked in.  He would go on to retire the next sixteen Rafter hitters to face him.  The lone blemish on his record was a single to lead off the eighth inning.  Rapids did put a runner in scoring position after Hoppe hit a batter with two outs, but the inning was quickly ended on a ground out to third.

Offensively, Lakeshore tallied six of their seven hits in the first three innings.  Ryan Krill (Michigan State) pushed across the second run of the game with an RBI single in the third.  Connor Lynch (Georgia Tech) followed with a two RBI double to give the Chinooks the 4-0 advantage.

That proved to be more than enough for Hoppe who completed eight strong innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out seven. 

With Hoppe’s pitch count over the century mark, Tyler Sparger (Indian Hills CC) came on to close it out in the ninth.  The Rafters put runners on the corners with two out, but Sparger was able to retire Nicholas Ammirati on strikes to nail down the victory.

Both teams will close out their seasons tomorrow at 5:05pm.  Nick Soldano (North Park) will take the ball for the final time as the Chinooks look for a three-game sweep of the Rafters.