Machbitz Grand Slam Lifts Chinooks over Rafters 7-6

The Lakeshore Chinooks wrapped up a three game series with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on a chilly Saturday night at Kapco Park. The third and final game was a back and forth battle with no lead safe. Both teams fought back after trailing in the game but the Chinooks topped the Rafters 7-6. Machbitz stated, “When it’s a back and forth game it’s really easy to stay in it, come back when we are trailing and it is always a fun game.”

A theme is this series was the Rafters always jumped out to an early start. With two outs in the top of the 1st inning, Wisconsin Rapids knocked back-to-back double bringing in three runs and a comfortable cushion early in the game.

The Chinooks fired back in the top of the 3rd inning. With two outs, Lakeshore loaded the bases for Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota State) who with one swing of the bat gave the Chinooks a 4-3 lead launching a grand slam over the left-center wall. “I’m not much of a home run hitter so I just tried to hit a line drive and it happened to go out.”

It did not take long for the Rafters to knot the game at 4-4. In the top of the 5th inning, Wisconsin Rapids lead-off man reached on a hit by pitch. He advanced to second and third base on sacrifices and was brought home on a Jackson Slaid RBI single.

Lakeshore answered in the bottom of the 5th inning. After a quick out, the Chinooks loaded the bases once again. Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) flared a two RBI single to right field to regain the lead 6-4.

Wisconsin Rapids jumped on the Chinooks relief pitching in the top of the 7th inning. After an error put runners on second and third base, Donnie Dewees muscled a two RBI double resulting in a 6-6 tie.

With one out in the bottom of the 8th inning, Sawyer Polen and Mike Papi (Virginia) worked back-to-back walks looking to spark the Chinooks. With Ryan Krill (MSU) at the plate, a wild pitch advanced runners to second and third base. Krill was down 0-2 in the count but his patience at the plate earned him a walk but more importantly Polen bolting home on a wild ball four that trickled to the backstop that ultimately gave the Chinooks a 7-6 win.

Lakeshore starter Jake Johansmeier (Eastern Illinois) went six innings giving up four runs on four hits and adding two strikeouts. After a tough 1st inning, Johansmeier settled in nicely. Reliever Dan Sayles (Miami) came in for 2 2/3 innings. He also had a rough first inning of work, but regained his confidence recording four strikeouts and earned the win. Mitchell Sewald (LSU) was called on to record the final out of the game earning him the save.

The Chinooks (16-6) continue their home stand in a two game series against the North Division leading Waterloo Bucks. The first 750 fans in attendance for the Sunday, July 28th game at 5:05 PM will receive a Chinooks Bottle Coozie! Come see the top two teams in the Northwoods League battle in a showdown in Mequon.