Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks had a rough stretch this past week, finding themselves on a four-game losing streak, three of which were extra-innings losses. After winning on Saturday against the Battle Creek Bombers, the team carried their success into the new week. Taking on the Wisconsin Woodchucks, the Chinooks swept a two-game series, including a 4-3 win on Monday night at Kapco Park.
Doug Kraeger (Richmond) began the scoring for the Chinooks in the top of the first. After Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) smacked a one-out single in his first at-bat of the summer, Kraeger homered off of Woodchucks starter Kaylor Chafin (Blinn College) to put the Chinooks up 2-0. It was Kraeger's second home run of the year, and the second for the Chinooks on the season.
"I'm happy that I can contribute to us getting rolling a little bit." said Kraeger. "Our pitching staff has been unbelievable… we can put two or three runs up and get a win. Our pitching has really carried us through these past few days."
The Chinooks continued the scoring in the bottom of the third, taking a 3-0 lead. Jake Romano reached with one out on a dropped third strike, and he came all the way around to score on a double from Fiala. Romano scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, getting on base on a two-out triple, and Fiala drove him in yet again, this time with a single.
Kody Hessemer (Baylor) had a solid start for the Chinooks, going 8.0 innings and giving up three runs while striking out nine and walking just one. The only big negative part of his start came in the top of the eighth, when Jared Oliva (Arizona) smacked a two-run home run off of him. Other than that mistake, however, Hessemer looked great throughout his whole start.
The Chinooks have seen some great pitching from their rotation lately. Over the last three games, starters Lake Bachar (UW-Milwaukee), Gavin Downs (Purdue) and Hessemer have given up just four runs in 22.0 innings pitched, good for a 1.64 ERA. For a team that has seen some inconsistency from their rotation in the early going this year, that certainly must be a welcome sight for manager Eddy Morgan.
Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) made his third appearance out of the bullpen, throwing a scoreless inning for the Chinooks. After Hessemer's good start, Koerner was the only reliever that the club would need to use.
The Chinooks will now go on the road to take on the Eau Claire Express on Tuesday, June 9th. The team will have their first off day of the season on Wednesday, June 10th and then will travel to Madison to take on the Mallards in a two-game series starting on Thursday, June 11th.
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.