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Chinooks Inch Closer to First-Half Title

On Sunday, the Chinooks (23-10) collected seventeen hits and defeated the Madison Mallards by the final score of 14-3.

Lakeshore designated-hitter Blake Butler (College of Charleston) led the Chinooks’ offense. He went 3-5 in the game with two doubles and a triple. Butler drove in seven runs as well. He was named the Northwoods League Player of the Night for June 29.

“Baseball is a game of adjustments, you go out every day and you want to stick with your approach,” Butler said. “But you have to willing to try new things…you just have to keep grinding every day, that’s what summer ball is about.”

Right-hander Joe Pavlovich (UW-Oshkosh) moved to 3-1 on the year. He tossed five solid innings and gave up two runs off five hits. Pavlovich had four strikeouts as well.

“I felt pretty good, I fell behind a lot of guys,” Pavlovich said. “But I was able to throw pitches when they counted and we got a win out of it.”

Connor McKay led off the second with a base hit. First baseman Ryan Krill (Michigan State) hit a double off Mallards starter Rob McDonnell that scored McKay. Luke Meeteer (UW-Milwaukee) also advanced to first on a single. Butler drove in Krill and Meeter on a two-run triple.

Lakeshore put five more runs on the board in the third. McDonnell started the inning by hitting Brant Valach (Eastern Illinois). Michael Morman (Valparaiso) drove in Valach with a triple. After McDonnell walked McKay, he was replaced by Charlie Naso.

Naso issued a walk to Krill. Morman came home a sacrifice fly by Mitch Ghelfi (UW-Milwaukee). Second-year Chinooks shortstop Sawyer Polen (Kent State) had an RBI double and McKay scored. Blake Butler collected his third and fourth RBIs of the game with a double. Krill and McKay scored, and Lakeshore took an 8-0 lead.

Pavlovich gave up a solo home run to Mallards first baseman Pete Alonso in the fourth. The long ball was Alonso’s sixth of the year. In the fifth, shortstop Michael Handel got a base hit off Pavlovich. He scored on a single by Alex Bacon.

Mallards reliever Connor Ryan gave up singles to Krill, Ghelfi and Meeteer in the bottom of the fifth. Sawyer Polen then got his second RBI on a base hit. Butler drove in three more runs with his second double of the contest. The Chinooks had a 12-2 advantage over the Mallards.

The Chinooks also scored on a two-run homer by Ghelfi in the sixth. They lead 14-2.

Righty Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) relieved Pavlovich. In two innings, he gave up two hits and struck out two. G.J. Strauss (Florida Tech) gave up one run on a balk in the eighth. Southpaw Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee) pitched a scoreless ninth.

The lefty McDonnell (3-2) lasted only two innings and took the loss. He gave up six runs off five hits.

The Chinooks will face the Kenosha Kingfish in a split-location doubleheader on Monday, June 30. Game one is at 12:05 p.m. at Kapco Park. The second game will be at 7:05 p.m. in Kenosha. The team has the day off on July 1. They will travel to Michigan for four games against the Battle Creek Bombers and Kalamazoo Growlers, July 2-5.

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.