As the Lakeshore Chinooks fought their way to the 2014 Northwoods League title the team experienced the inevitable roster changes that can occur during the long summer. Parker Sanburn (Arkansas) and Austin Jones (Wisconsin-Whitewater) were brought in during the final weeks and now have been invited back for a return engagement with the Chinooks in 2015. Pitching Coach Mark Moriarty is anxious to see the progress the two have made. “Parker had a rough stretch of injuries, but once he got over the nervousness, he looked very good; and Jones comes from a national champ and had a terrific high school career,” said Moriarty. “They both work hard and go about their business.”
Parker Sanburn, a 6’1” red-shirt freshman from Kokomo, IN experienced a difficult first season with the Razorbacks and wasn’t even projected to pitch during the 2014 summer after suffering a serious back injury. After the Chinooks had pitchers shutdown late in the season, however, Sanburn’s coaches felt that he had made enough progress with his recovery and that he might be able to help the depleted Lakeshore pitching staff. After not pitching in a game for nearly two years, Sanburn made four late season relief appearances in which he pitched 8.2 innings and posted a 1.03 ERA with 10 strikeouts and then contributed two shutout innings in Game 1 of the Championship Series against Mankato. Sanburn showed a powerful arm and a tenacious mound presence that intrigued the Chinooks’ staff enough to bring him back for the new season.
Sanburn, whose older brother Nolan pitched at Arkansas and is currently in the Chicago White Sox’s organization, has already pitched in five games for the Hogs who are off to a 9-3 start and looking to build off last year’s appearance in the NCAA Regionals. Sanburn has pitched 6.1 innings in five appearances with a 5.68 ERA, including eight strikeouts and three walks, and has held opponents to a .267 batting average.
Austin Jones is a local product from Wauwatosa, WI. The former Wisconsin Summer State Player of the Year in 2013 pitched at Wauwatosa West High School before beginning his college career at UW-Whitewater. Last season as a freshman, Jones led the Warhawks with 19 appearances and helped lead former Chinooks manager John Vodelich’s squad to the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championship. Jones posted a 6-1 record with three saves in 39.2 innings of work, striking out 25 and walking only ten. Jones experienced a dream year winning championships at both the college and the collegiate summer level.
As a late addition to the Lakeshore staff, Jones helped take some innings off of a tired staff down the stretch as he made three appearances, including one start. As he adjusted to Northwoods hitters, the righty gave up four runs in six innings, striking out two and walking eight. This time around, however, Jones will get an opportunity as soon as the Warhawks complete their run to repeat as D-III champions. “Last year was a learning experience for me because it was my first time in the Northwoods League. I learned a lot about the grind of the schedule. I loved playing against big time competition that you don’t see in D-III all the time and I’m looking forward to being back and playing every day and testing my talents against guys from the big name schools across the country,” says Jones.
You can catch your first glimpse of the 2015 Chinooks roster on May 28th when Lakeshore takes on the Kenosha Kingfish at 6:35pm. The first 1,000 fans will receive a 2014 championship pennant (courtesy of Port Washington State Bank) and a 2015 magnet schedule (courtesy of Professional Supply). On Opening Day, there will also be a special pre-game championship celebrate. The championship celebration week will continue on Saturday, May 30th with Championship Trophy Gill bobblehead for the first 1,000 fans (sponsored by GS Design).
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.