The Lakeshore Chinooks took on the Wisconsin Woodchucks on Saturday night for the final regular season game at Kapco Park. After a tough 6-0 loss Friday night, the Chinooks bounced back. The teams traded off runs early, but the Chinooks took the lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning and did not look back winning 9-2. Eddy Morgan stated, “We are grinding right now. This time of the year it’s about who can finish it.”
In the bottom of the 1st inning Andrew Stevenson (LSU) led off with a double off the right field wall. Stevenson advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt and was knocked in for the first run of the game on a Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State) RBI single.
The Woodchucks answered in the top of the 3rd inning. After a lead-off double, Edgar Figueroa ripped an RBI single to right field knotting the game 1-1.
It did not take long for Lakeshore to regain the lead. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Cody Bobbit (Wichita State) and Sawyer Polen (Kent State) forced back-to-back walks putting two men on. Once again, Mike Hollenbeck performed at the plate knocking in Bobbit for his second RBI of the game. Ryan Krill (MSU) followed with a deep sacrifice fly to bring in Polen giving the Chinooks a 3-1 lead.
Wisconsin kept the pressure on in the top of the 4th inning. After two quick outs, the Woodchucks put runners on the corners for Ryan Gerber who drove an RBI single to center field creeping back on Lakeshore making the score 3-2.
The pitchers settled down until the bottom of the 7th inning. Cody Bobbit and Andrew Stevenson launched back-to-back home runs over the right field wall pushing the score to 5-2. This was the first home run of the season for both players. Mental mistakes by the Woodchucks loaded the bases for Chris Manning (Valparaiso) who worked a full-count and drove a two RBI single to center field giving the Chinooks a commanding 7-2 lead.
Lakeshore continued to pour on the runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Ryan Krill lined a two RBI single back up the middle to put an exclamation point on the night resulting in a 9-2 win.
Chinooks starter Donnie Hissa (Notre Dame) went six innings giving up two runs on six hits and recorded four strikeouts. Tim Faix (Kent State), Jack Landwehr (Illinois State) and Tyler Wolfe (Des Moines Area CC) shut the door on the Woodchucks giving up a combined no hits, no runs, and no walks with six strikeouts.
The Lakeshore Chinooks (19-8) will wrap up the season with eight important road games starting Sunday, August 4th at La Crosse. With a slight lead in the South Division, the Chinooks need to continue winning as they make their final push to secure their first playoff spot ever.