Brian Keller Pitches Well In Chinooks Loss
Mequon, WI – Coming off of two extra-innings losses in as many days, the Lakeshore Chinooks were hoping for better results on Thursday. While the game was much more routine than their previous two contests, the club found themselves on the losing side of things, dropping a 4-1 contest on the road against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
Brian Keller (UW-Milwaukee) had a rough first start for the Chinooks, ceding seven runs in four innings, but he came back out and pitched well in his second outing of the year. Keller allowed just two runs in the game, one of which was unearned, while striking out six over 7.0 innings of work. Just about the only negative of his start was when he gave up a solo home run to Jake Sandlin (Georgia College) in the third inning.
They say baseball is a game of inches, and Keller was just inches from escaping with only one run allowed. In the sixth inning, the Rafters drove in their second run of the game on a two-out single by Max Widmar (Parkland College) that was just out of the reach of a diving Drake Parker (Vanderbilt) in center field. The run was not charged to Keller thanks to a previous error, however.
The Chinooks plated their lone run of the game in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Doug Kraeger (Richmond). It was actually just the first home run of the season for the team, but with Kraeger and others powerful hitters like Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College) in the lineup, we could be seeing plenty more homers in the coming games.
Overall, the Chinooks offense struggled, managing just five hits on the day. Keller kept the game close, as the Rafters only led 2-1 until the eighth inning, but the offense could never close that gap. Greg Deichmann (Louisiana State) did have a nice day, going 2 for 4 to raise his average to .244 on the year. The shortstop has shown some impressive raw power at times this season, and the Chinooks will hope that this game can be the one that gets him started on a hot streak.
Shea Murray (Ohio State) was the lone reliever that the Chinooks needed on the night. After not giving up a run in his first two outings this summer, Murray was not so fortunate in this game, giving up two earned runs in his sole inning pitched while striking out one.
The Chinooks now return to Kapco Park to start a two-game series against the Battle Creek Bombers, who the team previously beat twice on the road. After that series concludes on Saturday, June 6th, the club will open a two-game set at home on Sunday, June 7th against the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
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.