Early Offensive Explosion Silences Honkers, Division Title Within Reach

If you were a casual fan making your way to Mayo Field for the first time Friday, you wouldn’t know that the Lakeshore Chinooks came into action hitting just .176 over the last week.

Sporting their alternate uniforms, the team took out all its frustrations early and often in a 16-3 blowout victory over the Rochester Honkers bringing them to the brink of their first-ever regular-season division title.

After picking up just three hits a night ago, Lakeshore equaled that total in the first three batters. Andrew Stevenson (LSU) and Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) picked up singles to start the game. Stevenson came across to score on an RBI single from Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State) and Fon scored on an error by the second baseman. Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota State) and Sawyer Polen (Kent State) followed with a pair of RBI singles to make it 5-0 with only one out on the scoreboard. Ryan Krill (Michigan State) concluded the scoring with an RBI groundout giving starter Donnie Hissa (Notre Dame) a huge cushion to work with before he even stepped on the mound.

Well, the offense put up six in the first inning, what do you think they’ll do for an encore? How about score eight more.

Lakeshore sent 14 men to the plate in the inning including a streak of six consecutive with two outs highlighted by a pair of two RBI singles from Cody Bobbitt (Wichita State) and Stevenson to make it 14-1 after it inning and a half. The eight runs in an inning tied a franchise record set back on June 16th against Battle Creek.

Lakeshore added two more for laughs in the eighth on a two RBI double from Travis Enger (St. Cloud State) to make it 16-2 at that point.

With a huge lead all night long, Donnie Hissa pounded the strike zone through six strong innings allowing just one run on five hits with six strikeouts. Ironically, Hissa was also on the mound the last time the offense exploded four and eight run inning.

As if the night couldn’t get any better, the St. Cloud Rox came back to beat the La Crosse Loggers on a walk off in the bottom of the ninth to move Lakeshore’s lead to 1 ½ game in the division. The Eau Claire Express also came up on the short end for a second consecutive night to the Duluth Huskies. The loss moves them to two games behind the Chinooks with just two to play. As the team boards a bus to Madison the scenario is simple. A win on Saturday plus a La Crosse loss would give the Chinooks their first division title in franchise history.

You can catch all the exciting action on the Northwoods League YouTube channel or if you would like a “pro Chinooks” broadcast you can hear it on the team’s USTREAM channel by accessing the links under the “Ballpark” tab of our website