Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks won their first two games of the 2015 season, but dropped the next three to fall under .500. After losing to the Green Bay Bullfrogs on Saturday in what was a rough outing for the pitching staff, the club had no such problems in Sunday's contest, besting the Bullfrogs by a score of 3-1 to get back an even 3-3 record.
Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater) dominated in his second start for the Chinooks. He gave up a run in the top of the first after Bullfrogs left fielder Caleb Ratzman (Illinois State) bunted his way on, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch. Bachar then settled down, though, holding the Green Bay offense scoreless for the next five innings. He struck out at least two batters in four of his six innings pitched and totaled 10 strikeouts while giving up just four hits and a walk.
"I just filled up the zone and attacked with the fastball," said Bachar of his great start. True to his word, he only rarely had to use off-speed pitches throughout his outing despite the high strikeout total. Of the importance of this win to end his team's three game slide, Bachar said, "It's really going to help our momentum."
Green Bay starter Parker Hamilton (Florida Gulf Coast) had a nice start of his own, allowing just two hits and going five innings. However, a key third inning gave the Chinooks three runs, allowing them to take the lead after the early deficit. The club quickly loaded the bases with no outs, and Drake Parker (Vanderbilt) hit a double into the left-center gap to plate Aaron Rzucidlo (Georgia), who had previously singled, and Jake Kolasinski (UW-Parkside), who reached on an error. Greg Deichmann (Louisiana State) brought home the third and final run of the frame by driving in Rich Rodriguez (Cincinnati) with a sacrifice fly, and as it would turn out, that was all the scoring that the team would need.
It was a welcome sight for the Chinooks to see Deichmann back in the lineup after a scary collision with left fielder Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) forced him to be removed from Saturday's contest against Green Bay. David Leiderman was not as lucky, though, as the Chinooks third baseman missed the game while being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms. Manager Eddy Morgan said that more information on Leiderman's status and a timeline for his return would likely be available on Monday.
Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) relieved Bachar in the seventh, firing a 1-2-3 inning in his first outing on the mound for the Chinooks. Joe Stoll (Ohio State) did his job as well, relieving Kerner to fire two scoreless innings and earning the save in the process. After the club's bullpen has been shaky in the last few outings, the stability brought by Koerner and Stoll was a welcome site for their squad.
The Chinooks will be back at Kapco Park on Monday, June 1st to take on the Madison Mallards in the first of a two-game set. After the conclusion of that series on June 2nd, the Chinooks will go on the road.
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 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 (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.