Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks had a crazy past three days entering Friday, playing two extra-innings games in those three days. Taking on the Battle Creek Bombers at Kapco Park, the team was surely looking for a calmer game, but that was not the case. After seventeen innings of baseball, the game was suspended with the score 4-4 to be resumed on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
Bombers starter Andrew Mitchell (Delgado Community College) did not give up much to the Chinooks, allowing just two hits in his six innings pitched. However, the Chinooks still managed two runs off of him thanks to some good fortune. The first of those two came in the bottom of the first inning, when Kyle Wood (Purdue) drew a two-out walk. After advancing to third when Doug Kraeger (Richmond) reached on an error by Bombers shortstop Tim McKeithan (Brown), Wood then scored on a wild pitch from Mitchell.
The Chinooks got their second run of the game in similar fashion in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kraeger reached on a single, later advancing to third after walks from Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College) and Drake Parker (Vanderbilt). He then scored on another Mitchell wild pitch.
Meanwhile, Justin Langley (UW-Milwaukee) had a dominant start for the Chinooks. He wound up throwing 7.0 innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits while striking out 10 and walking two. He found success in a similar way as we have seen on multiple occasions from Chinooks starters this season, heavily relying on fastballs down in the zone and only occasionally using his off-speed pitches. The lone run that the Bombers managed off of him came in the top of the second, and it was not even Langely's fault after an error from catcher Aaron Rzucidlo (Georgia) with two outs let the run scored.
Up 2-1 in the eighth, the Chinooks plated an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame. Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) led off the inning by reaching third on an error by Bombers right fielder Trek Stemp (Washington State). Zarley Zaleweski (Kent State) then brought him home with a double.
Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) came on in relief of Langley with a chance to earn the six-out save. After holding the Bombers scoreless in the eighth, though, Koerner gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to let the game get tied up. He had two outs in the inning but then ceded four straight singles, sending the game into extras. Koerner wound up throwing four innings in his outing while giving up the two runs and striking out four.
Extra innings were not kind to the offenses, but both teams managed to plate a run in the fourteenth thanks to some defensive miscues. In the top of the inning, an error by shortstop Greg Deichmann (Louisiana State) with two outs gave the Bombers a run. In the bottom of the inning, however, Romano reached on an error by second baseman Lin Li (National Taiwan Sports Academy) and later came around to score on an error from shortstop Tyler Walsh (Belmont) to ensure that the Bombers' 4-3 lead was short-lived.
Rusin Sveum (Dixie State) was brilliant out of the Chinooks bullpen and deserves plenty of credit for keeping this game in reach for his club. He wound up throwing 5.0 innings, giving up just one hit and an unearned run over four innings while striking out four. Joe Stoll likewise kept the Bombers at bay over his 2.0 innings pitched. .
Due to Mequon city ordinances, play was forced to be suspended after the seventeenth inning with the score still tied 4-4. The game will be continued at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday at Kapco Park, with gates opening at 4:30. After that, the Chinooks and Bombers will play a full game that was already scheduled for the day.
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.