For the next few weeks, the Lakeshore Chinooks will be providing updates on our alumni who have been drafted and are currently working their way up the minor league system. Our first report highlights the Chinooks first ever player drafted, Eric Semmelhack.
Semmelhack was born and raised in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. He attended and played high school baseball for the Oak Creek Knights. He would then go on to continue his playing career at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During the Chinooks inaugural season in 2012, Semmelhack made only one start for Lakeshore before being selected in the annual MLB Draft. After pitching a great game for the Chinooks, Eric found out that he had been drafted in the 12th round by him favorite team growing up, the Milwaukee Brewers.
Shortly after, Semmelhack would end up leaving the Chinooks to report to rookie ball. He was assigned to begin his minor league career with the Helena Brewers in the Pioneer League. In 2012 with the Helena Brewers, Eric made six appearances, all starts, and ended with a 1-3 record while posting a 4.02 ERA. In 31.1 innings pitched, Semmelhack struck out 20 while walking 9 batters.
Towards the end of the 2012 minor league season, Eric was promoted to the Brewers single-A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in Appleton, Wisconsin. He made five starts and four relief appearances for the team, finishing his season with a 2-3 record and a 5.87 ERA. In 30.2 innings pitched, his numbers were similar to that in Helena, 22 strikeouts and 15 walks. Semmelhack even ended his season with a .296 batting average.
The following April, Eric found himself returning to Appleton where he would wear a Timber Rattlers uniform for the entire 2013 season. He made 22 appearances for Wisconsin, 15 starts and 7 relief appearances. Semmelhack even recorded a save during a relief appearance. He ended his 2013 season with a 2-6 record and a 4.99 ERA. He pitched 106 innings for the Timber Rattlers in 2013.
His time in Lakeshore was short but the Chinooks organization continues to keep an eye on Semmelhack’s progress through the minors. Hopefully down the road, Chinooks fans will be able to watch the right-handed pitcher take the mound at Miller Park for the Milwaukee Brewers!
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized summer collegiate baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit lakeshorechinooks.com