The Lakeshore Chinooks battled the Madison Mallards in game one of the South Division Playoffs on Monday night. Coming into Monday night, the two teams went head-to-head ten times this season with a perfect split at five wins apiece. As every play-off game should be, it was an early battle with pitching dominating until the Chinooks tagged the Mallards for seven runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, three in the 7th inning and five in the 8th inning resulting in a 15-0 slaughter. Joe Greenfield stated, “We are rolling on all cylinders, this is the time to get hot and we are hot.”
It was tough for both teams to find runners early in the game, until the Chinooks forced two walks to start off the bottom of the 4th inning. With men on first and second base, Ryan Krill (MSU) flared an RBI single to left-center field bringing home Machbitz for the first run on the game. Sawyer Polen (Kent State) was looking to sacrifice himself, but an error by Mallard third basemen resulted in Manning to come home and runners ending up on second and third base. Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State) looked to add to the lead and ripped a two RBI double to right-center giving the Chinooks a 4-0 advantage. With one out, Jared Fon (UW-Whitewater) battled at the plate. After multiple foul balls, he drove an RBI single to right field tacking on the fifth run of the inning. Another walk loaded the bases for Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota State) who was up to bat for the second time in the 4th inning. He lined an RBI single past the shortstop, pushing the lead to 6-0. With the bases still loaded Chris Manning (Valparaiso) lifted an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, capping the 7-run inning.
The Chinooks continued the scoring in the bottom of the 7th inning. Three walks loaded the bases for Andrew Stevenson (LSU), who knocked a three RBI triple, giving the Chinooks a comfortable 10-0 lead.
Mike Papi (Virginia) and Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota State) put the exclamation point on the night with back-to-back solo jacks in the 8th. After two men reached, Mike Hollenbeck rocked a two RBI double to right-center field. Andrew Stevenson then topped the night off with an RBI single. This gave the Chinooks a 15-0 victory and their first playoff win ever. Lakeshore forced ten walks and recorded eleven hits.
The Chinooks starter Joe Greenfield (Eastern Illinois) pitched seven near perfect innings for Lakeshore. He gave up no runs on six hits and added three strikeouts. “The adrenaline was rushing; I knew that God helps us through everything. I felt great.” Jack Landwehr (Illinois State) and Joe Pavlovich (UW-Oshkosh) shut the door on the Mallards in the 8th and 9th inning to secure the win.
The Lakeshore Chinooks head to Madison for game two with a 1-0 lead. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM at Warner Park.