After a pair of exciting victories to finish a long home stand, the Lakeshore Chinooks looked to keep things going on the road at CO Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Michigan. For a second consecutive start, Jake Johansmeier (Eastern Illinois) was strong on the mound and the bullpen held on for a 5-4 win over the Bombers on a hot sticky Wednesday evening.
The first run of the ballgame came in the fourth on an RBI single from Mike Papi (University of Virginia) to give Lakeshore the early 1-0 lead.
The Chinooks squandered a huge chance to blow it open in the fifth when Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State University), Jared Fon (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), and Cody Bobbitt (Wichita State ) all recorded singles to begin the inning. Sawyer Polen (Kent State) picked up a sacrifice fly to score Hollenbeck and give the Chinooks the 2-0 lead but the next two hitters where retired to end the threat.
Johansmeier worked around a bases loaded jam in the third when the Bombers put three runners on with two out. Daniel Cucjen reached on an error by Polen and the next two batters reached on free passes before Kade Scivicque hit a fly out to center field to end the inning.
The Bombers loaded the bases again in the fifth inning, all with two outs. Cam Gibson picked up the third consecutive single to put Battle Creek on the board but right fielder Mike Papi gunned down Tommy Mirabelli at third for the third out of the inning.
Head Coach Eddy Morgan has stressed all year long about the importance of living in the moment. Lakeshore had another scoring chance in the sixth inning and this time they did not miss.
Two walks loaded the bases for Jared Fon who picked up an easy RBI on the third walk of the inning to make it 3-1 Lakeshore. Cody Bobbitt picked up a two RBI single plating Ryan Krill (Michigan State University) and Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State) to extend the lead to four with one down. Bobbitt made a base running mistake trying to score on a groundball to third with one out and was caught in a rundown to essentially take Lakeshore out of the inning.
Johansmeier surrendered two more two out hits in the sixth before defusing the Bombers rally bringing his evening to a close.
After Jack Landwehr (Illinois State) surrendered two runs in the seventh inning on a two out single by Scivicque, reliever Luke Lowery (Southern Mississippi) came on and escaped a jam with one out in the eighth inning pitching around a double and a walk. He picked up a strikeout and got a groundout to third to preserve the lead.
Lowery got the first two outs in the ninth no problem before Scivicque picked up his third RBI of the game on a solo homerun to pull Battle Creek to within one. After a visit from Eddy Morgan, Lowery got Tyler Moore to fly out to right on two pitches to nail down the five out save.
The series continues Thursday with the second of three games beginning at 6:05 (CDT). Donnie Hissa (Notre Dame) is scheduled to get the start as the Chinooks look for their fourth consecutive win.