Inaugural Season Highlights
The first year Lakeshore Chinooks provided a variety of excitement for the 46,030 fans that made the inaugural season a success! Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable games:
First Game Ends in Extra Inning Win
In the first ever game for the Lakeshore Chinooks on May 30th, Scott Wilcox (Western Kentucky) came up with the Chinooks first-ever franchise hit to break up the Bullfrogs no hitter, but it took until the 9th inning for the Chinooks to tie up the game to put it into extra innings. The Bullfrogs walked the bases loaded in the top of the 11th and Eric Aguilera (Illinois State) was hit by a pitch to walk in the winning run!
Welcome to Kapco Park
The home opener at KAPCO Park on June 4th began with celebrations and excitement as Bob Uecker and Robin Yount spoke to a crowd of over 1,800 fans before throwing out the first pitch. Chinooks’ mascot “Gill” entered the stadium with a grand entrance by way of helicopter and the game was delayed more than 20 minutes when the home plate umpire went down with an injury after being hit by an out-of-control pitch.
Home Win in the Books
The Lakeshore Chinooks hooked their first victory at Kapco Park with a 2-1 victory over the Eau Claire Express Tuesday June 5th. Starting pitcher Joe Greenfield (South Suburban College) inked the win for the Chinooks, pitching 5 2/3 innings, giving up 1 run with 4 hits, 3BB and 3K’s. Greenfield out-dueled Eau Claire’s Andre Hendrick who also went 5 2/3 innings.
First Home Run at Kapco Park
The winning run in the Chinooks first home victory came on a solo home run from Sam Koenig (UW-Milwaukee) off of Andrew Hedrick in the 5th. “It feels pretty good to help the team any way I can. It’s nice to do it in front of the fans that have come out to support us these two days at our first home games,” said Koenig, who will forever go down in the Chinooks record books with the first home run at Kapco Park.
Chinooks Represented in the Draft
Eric Semmelhack’s (UW-Milwaukee) first start with the Chinooks was more than just a first game in a Chinooks uniform on June 6th. Semmelhack was on the mound for the first time as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization after being drafted in the 12th round. Semmelhack pitched 5 innings with 3 hits, 6 BBs, 4 K’s, and 2 earned runs against the Battle Creek Bombers.
The Chinooks welcomed Arkansas players Brian Anderson (Arkansas) and David Masters (Arkansas) to Kapco Park Friday July 6th as both just joined the team and made starts at third base and shortstop respectively. The Arkansas additions combined to go 6-for-9 at the plate which included a walk-off home run by Anderson in the Chinooks 8-7 win over the La Crosse Loggers. “I was just going to try to get something to hit. (Swanner) just came in the game and was trying to throw a first pitch strike and I was looking for a fastball and he gave me one. I just tried to put it in the gap and it just kept going,” said Anderson of his walk-off home run. “I’m just going to go out and play my hardest every time, I can’t promise walk-off home runs, but I’m going to do my best.”
A Grand Win
The June 20th game between the Lakeshore Chinooks and Wisconsin Woodchucks was nothing short of grand. The Chinooks put up 11 runs, four coming in the 2nd inning when Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) launched one over the centerfield wall for the Chinooks’ first grand slam at Kapco Park. The Chinooks would go on to lose the game 11-15 after a stunning late inning rally by the Woodchucks.
First Complete Game x2
July 29th and 30th featured a 2-game series sweep over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. More impressive however were the complete pitching performances put out by Joe Greenfield (South Suburban College) and Jason Hoppe (Mankato State). Each pitcher went the distance on back-to-back days to become the first and second complete game pitching performances in Chinooks history. Greenfield allowed 2 runs, 1 of which was earned, off 5 hits while walking 2 batters and striking out 8 of the 32 he faced. Hoppe followed Greenfield’s dazzling performance with a gem of his own on Monday. Hoppe allowed 2 earned runs off 3 hits without walking a single batter. Hoppe struck out 7 of the 31 batters he faced in his 97 pitch complete game
July 29th proved that “Gill” reigns supreme at Kapco Park! A record setting crowd of 2,503 Chinook fans came out to the park for “Gill Bobblehead Day” in which the first 750 fans received the highly sought after bobblehead.
The mid-week matchup between the Lakeshore Chinooks and the Madison Mallards on August 8th proved to be an extra inning thriller for those fans willing to deal with the cold and rain. Just as fans were packing up their umbrellas, Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to put the Chinooks on the board for the first time and tie up the game. The Chinooks earned the victory in the extra inning battle against the Mallards 5-4. The ninth inning rally started with the Mallards second baseman and right fielder trading positions without their coaches knowing with the mindset of a sure victory. Pitcher Rex Morrow (Madison College) led off the inning by hitting a single in his first at bat in a Chinooks uniform as a pinch hitter. Luke Maldonado (Madison College) singled with Morrow reaching second on a routine play for a second baseman…but the usual second baseman was playing right field. After a furious rant by Mallards coach Greg Labbe put his players back in their correct positions, Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) added another single to load the bases for Chadwick to tie up the game.
Thanks for a great season, fans! We are looking forward to a second season of exciting highlights!