The Lakeshore Chinooks returned to Kapco Park to take on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in a double header Friday night with both games being 7 innings. The first game was scheduled for Sunday, July 21st but was canceled due to rain. Game one was an early battle but the Chinooks broke the game open in the bottom of the 6th inning leading to a 7-2 win. Game two was once again a close game until a big 5th and 6th inning for the Rafters resulting in an 8-4 win.
The Rafters wasted no time in game one taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. With two outs and a man on first base, Jeremy Montalbano knocked a grounder off third base resulting in the ball to take a bad hop to the third base fence bringing home an early run for Wisconsin Rapids.
Lakeshore bounced right back in the bottom of the 2nd inning. After back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases, Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) worked a four pitch walk to bring in Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State) to tie the game 1-1.
Clouds rolled over Kapco Park once again in the bottom of the 3rd inning. After Rafters pitcher walked the first two batters and hit Krill with a pitch due to a slippery ball and heavy down pour there was a short delay. The game resumed with the bases loaded once again but Wisconsin got out of the jam keeping the game knotted at 1.
Cody Bobbit (Wichita State) led the bottom of the 4th inning with a drag bunt and stolen base putting him in scoring position. After two quick outs, Mike Papi (Virginia) came to the plate and blasted a line-drive home run over the right field wall to give the Chinooks a 3-1 lead.
Wisconsin Rapids crept back in the top of the 5th inning. With runners on the corners and two outs, the Rafters stole second base and what looked to be a miscommunication allowed the runner at third base to score making the score 3-2.
With just a one-run lead in the top of the 6th Jared Fon led the inning off with a triple to right field. After a Bobbit walk, Andrew Stevenson (LSU) laid down a suicide squeeze to bring home Fon and push the lead to 4-2. Papi was intentionally walked to load the bases for Mike Hollenbeck who broke the game open with a base clearing double to cap the scoring at give the Chinooks game one with a 7-2 win.
Chinooks starter Tim Faix (Kent State) went 6 1/3rd innings giving up two runs on six hits and four strikeouts. Faix improved to 2-0 on the season and helped give the Chinooks their 15th win of the second half.
After a short break, the second game was underway. Once again, the Rafters took control early. In the top of the 2nd inning, Wisconsin Rapids loaded the bases for Donnie Dewees who knocked a two-out 2 RBI single to right field giving a quick 2-0 advantage for the Rafters.
In the top bottom of the 2nd inning, the Chinooks cut the Rafters lead in half on a Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) solo home run making the score 2-1.
With two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Eli Roundtree (Missouri Baptist) and John Norwood (Vanderbilt) knocked back-to-back singles keeping the inning alive. Fon came to the plate and ripped an RBI single to right field to even the game 2-2.
Lakeshore took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the 4th inning. Andrew Stevenson (LSU) lined a single off the Rafters pitcher and stole second base to put him in position to score. Sawyer Polen (Kent State) drove an RBI single to right field bringing home Stevenson who just beat out the throw from right field pushing the Chinooks ahead 3-2.
Wisconsin Rapids did not trail long. In the top of the 5th inning, the Rafters had the bases loaded for Robbie Coman who tied the game 3-3 with an RBI fly out. With two outs, Wisconsin Rapids regained the lead 4-3, on a shot that bounced off the glove of Chinooks reliever. They added another run on a Marcus Wheeler knocked an RBI single to right looking to run away with the game at 5-3.
The Rafters looked to take full control in the top of the 6th inning. After a runner reached on an error and advanced to second base, Dewees smacked an RBI single to make the score 6-3. After he found himself on third base, a wild pitch gave Wisconsin Rapids a commanding 7-3 lead.
The Chinooks did not go down without a fight. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Lakeshore loaded the bases and Cody Bobbit bolted home on a wild pitch inching closer making the score 7-4.
Wisconsin Rapids wanted to top off the night in the top of the 7th inning. A lead-off single was followed by an RBI single to give the Rapids an 8-4 victory.
Donnie Hissa (Notre Dame) started game two for Lakeshore. He went 4 1/3rd innings giving up three runs on four hits adding two strikeouts.
The Chinooks (15-6) wrap up the series with the Rafters on Saturday, July 27th at 6:35 PM. Fans in attendance will receive a team poster of the Lakeshore Chinooks.