Logjam: Win Makes Things Interesting at the Top

It is said that baseball players need to have short memories. After dropping two games in a disappointing series with Eau Claire, the Lakeshore Chinooks needed to bounce back. Especially considering they find themselves locked in a three-way battle for the top spot in the division.  Bounce back they did in a 10-5 win against the La Crosse Loggers from Copeland Park Thursday evening.

Manager Eddy Morgan decided to shake up his lineup after dropping two consecutive games, and it worked. The offense came early and often as the top three hitters in the batting order picked up a total of six hits and four RBIs.

Sawyer Polen (Kent State University) got things started immediately with a solo home run to left field leading off the game. More offense came in the second when Cody Bobbit (Wichita State) singled home John Norwood (Vanderbilt University) to extend the lead to two.

The inning didn’t stop there. Bobbitt stole second and Polen drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Mike Hollenbeck, (Illinois State University) who was moved up to second in the order, delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Lakeshore. The inning continued when Harrison Bader (University of Florida) reached base on one of three Logger errors. The miscue also allowed Polen to score the third run of the inning.  4-1 Lakeshore after 2.

The Chinooks used a two-out rally in the third to plate two more insurance runs. Mikel Mucha (Wichita State University) picked up a single and would score on an RBI hit from Cody Bobbit.  Polen continued his hot night from the leadoff spot with a second consecutive two-out hit scoring Bobbit to make it 6-1 after three innings.

Jerrick Suiter (Texas Christian University) got in on the fun with a solo shot to lead off the fifth inning. Polen and Norwood teamed up again with two outs in the inning to push the lead to seven.

Lakeshore starter Kyle Bouman (St. Louis University) was outstanding on the mound throwing six strong innings allowing just one run on four hits while striking out six. In five starts this season, the left-hander is 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA, third-best in the Northwoods league.

The Chinooks put the game out of reach adding two more runs in the sixth inning on RBI singles from Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota State) and Norwood to make it 10-1.

The only real blemish of the evening came in the eighth on a three-run home run by Michael Kratz made possible by an error on John Norwood in the outfield.

Zack Rivera connected on his second home run of the game in the ninth for La Crosse, but reliever Karch Kowalczyk (Valparaiso University) nailed down the victory.

The victory creates a logjam at the top of the Northwoods League southern division. Lakeshore moves a half-game ahead of La Crosse with a record of 18-10. The Madison Mallards pounded the Wisconsin Woodchucks 13-6 to win their fourth consecutive game on Thursday and move into a tie with the Loggers with just six games remaining in the first half.

Lakeshore and La Crosse will finish up their two-game series tomorrow at 7:05 before Lakeshore returns home Saturday for a three-game set against the Green Bay Bullfrogs.