Mequon, WI – Pitching has been the key for the Lakeshore Chinooks this season. The club entered play on Tuesday with a collective 3.39 ERA, and once again great pitching delivered the team a win. Chinooks starter Jesse Scholtens (Wright State) was brilliant, throwing eight scoreless innings en route to a 3-0 win over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
The Chinooks jumped on Rafters starter Chris Falwell (Cisco College) early, bringing home two runs in the bottom of the first. Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) and Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) smacked back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, and a base knock from Doug Kraeger (Richmond) scored Romano. Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College), who reached on a fielder's choice, scored after an errant throw from catcher Alex Herceg (Keystone College) on a stolen base attempt.
Raley has been great for the Chinooks as of late. He is now on a six-game hitting streak, and after his triple slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) sat at .241/.338/.345 on June 8th, he has now risen it all the way to a robust .300/.380/.525.
The team scored the third run of the game in the very next inning. Romano reached base after a hit by pitch, and he was driven in by a single from Raley, who leads the Chinooks with 19 RBIs. Falwell was driven from the game after just 4.1 innings, a nice feat for the Chinooks given that he was drafted in the 29th round of this year's MLB draft.
Scholtens, meanwhile, was much more impressive. He needed 94 pitches to get through his eight innings, 61 of which were strikes. Scholtens allowed just three hits and two walks while punching out four. He has been impressive early in his Chinooks career, posting a 1.06 ERA so far.
"I had faith in the defense," said Scholtens of his great outing, "I just tried to pound the zone and let the defense work for me, and they were able to make a lot of good plays. When your defense plays like this all you've got to do is throw strikes."
Joe Stoll (Ohio State) came on in the ninth for the save attempt. He indeed earned the save, throwing a scoreless inning. The bullpen has been great for the Chinooks this season, and Stoll has been a key part of that, throwing to a 2.38 ERA in his six appearances.
The Chinooks will go on the road on Wednesday and Thursday to battle the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The team will then return home for a four-game home stand against the Green Bay Bullfrogs and the Rafters.
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 draws 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 (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS, Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.