Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks split a two-game home series against the Green Bay Bullfrogs on Friday and Saturday, and they continued their home stand on Sunday against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. In what became an offensive thriller, the Chinooks ended up on top of the Raters by a final score of 12-8.
The Chinooks offense got going early, plating a whopping six runs in the first inning and sending 10 batters to the plate. Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) got the scoring going with a two-run homer, his first of the year and the Chinooks eighth, also driving in Colby Fitch (Louisville). The Chinooks were hardly done there, however, proceeding to load the bases with just one out.
Anthony Massicci (Canisius) brought in the third and fourth runs of the frame, singling home Lucas Raley (Lake Erie), who reached on an error, and Zarley Zalewski (Kent State), who previously singled. The final two runs of the inning were driven home by a David Edson (Southern California) single, plating Doug Kraeger (Richmond) and Massicci.
Kody Hessemer (Baylor) might not have had his best start, but, given the Chinooks early lead, he did fine. He allowed the first run of the game in the top of the first on a Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) RBI double. Hessemer also allowed a single run in the third, when Demetrius Sims (Bethune-Cookman) scored on a wild pitch, and in the fifth on a Jake Sandlin (Georgia College) RBI single. Ultimately, he threw 5.0 innings while giving up three runs, striking out three and walking none.
Manager Eddy Morgan brought on Zac Lowther (Xavier) to relieve Hessemer in the sixth. He fired a scoreless inning, but back out on the seventh, he allowed three runs, one of them unearned, to tie the game. It was on odd inning, as defensive mistakes from Lowther and Kraeger led to two fielder's choices that did not result in outs, and an error from Fiala also hurt the Chinooks in the inning.
The tea, did not let that get to them, however, and came back in the very next half inning to regain the lead. After Fiala and Raley singled and walked to begin the frame, Kraeger drove in Fiala with a single. Edson did the big damage once again, smacking a single to bring in Raley and Kraeger. He had a great day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with four RBIs.
The Chinooks extended the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) doubled to lead off the inning, and he was later driven on when Raley hit a sacrifice fly to left field. Zalewski then opened things up even more with a two-run home run. That made the score 12-7, and that is where it would ultimately hold.
Lowther stayed on to get one out and allow a baserunner in the eighth before being pulled in favor of Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast). Koerner let the inherited runner score but was not charged with a run of his own in the inning. He stayed on for the ninth, giving up a run but earning the save regardless.
These two clubs will battle again on Monday at Kapco Park. After that, the Chinooks take to the road to Green Bay to take on the Bullfrogs.
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.