The Chinooks handed the Rafters their eighth-straight loss on Saturday. They won by a final score of 4-2.
Lakeshore infielder and pitcher Kyle Wood, a product of Purdue, entered for Connor Jones (UGA) in the seventh. He gave up one hit in one and one-third innings. Wood had two strikeouts.
“I’ve been doing it my whole life, so I’m used to it…it’s cool being a hitter and a pitcher,” Wood said. “It’s weird if I’m not doing both.”
Coach Eddy Morgan expressed how important Wood’s versatility will be this summer. “It’s going to be great, not too often do a get a position player that can pitch in the league,” he said. “We’re probably only going to throw him once a week, but he’s a crafty lefty who can come in a throw strikes…and we need that.”
Lefty Ben Messenger (UW-Oshkosh) got the start for Lakeshore. In the first, he walked the Rafters leadoff hitter, Ben Domingues. Wisconsin third baseman Keelin Rasch also walked. Domingues scored on a single by center fielder Kirby McGuire, which gave the Rafters an early lead.
Chinooks designated-hitter Brett Siddall (Canisius) walked in the second inning. Jake Noll (Florida Gulf Coast) hit an RBI triple that scored Siddall and also tied the game at one.
In the third, Lakeshore took a 3-1 lead. Shortstop Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) led off with a single. Center fielder Tanner Dearman (Wichita State) sacrificed bunted him to second. Carter White (Memphis) followed Dearman with a double. Michael Morman (Valparasio) knocked in Koerner and White with a 2-run double.
Jones issued a walk to Wisconsin Rapids center fielder Michael Hurwitz in the fifth. McGuire had his second single of the game. Hurwitz scored on an error by the Chinooks third baseman White. The Rafters trailed 3-2.
During the eighth, the Chinooks put one more run across home plate. Pinch-runner Luke Meeteer (UW-Milwaukee) stole his eighth and ninth bases of the season. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Siddall.
Wisconsin Rapids starter John Kravetz tossed seven solid innings. He surrendered three runs off six hits and struck out five. Kravetz suffered the loss.
Jones (1-0) picked up the win for the Chinooks. He gave one run off two hits in three innings. He had two strikeouts and two walks. Andrew Elliot (Wright State) received his third save of the season, striking out four in one and two-thirds innings.
The team travels to face the Green Bay Bullfrogs on Sunday (1:00 p.m.) and Monday (7:05 p.m.). They will also travel to play the Madison Mallards on Tuesday (7:05 p.m.), before returning for a six-game home stand Wednesday.
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 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 Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel<http://northwoodsleague.com/video/>. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.