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Zarley Zalewski Delivers Walk-Off Win

Mequon, WI – Entering Thursday just two games out of first place in the Northwoods League South Division, the Lakeshore Chinooks looked to gain some ground with the end of the first half just around the corner. The team took on the Mankato MoonDogs in a rematch of the 2014 Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series. 

The Chinooks struck first in this contest, scoring a run in the bottom of the first when Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) hit a solo home run, his second of the year. The team then took a 2-0 lead with another run scored in the bottom of the second inning. Colby Fitch (Louisville) walked to begin the frame and later came around to score on a Drake Parker (Vanderbilt) double. 

The Chinooks sent Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast) to the mound for his first start after he had previously posted a 2.38 ERA in seven relief appearances. He held the MoonDogs scoreless through two innings but gave up a run in the third when Eric Schenck-Joblinske (Iowa) scored on a scored when Jack Flansburg (Cypress CC) grounded into a fielder's choice. He allowed another run in the fifth on an RBI single rom Flansburg. Koerer wound up lasting six innings, giving up just the two runs while striking out two and walking none.

The Chinooks regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth after scoring their third run of the game. Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College) began the inning with a single and advanced to second when Christian Hicks (Florida) walked. Raley then came around to score when Jack Benninghoff (Arkansas) singled. 

The lead was short-lived, however, as the MoonDogs came right back in the top of the seventh to tie things up. Nick Brown (Missouri State) relieved Korner in the inning, and he let up a run. Brown allowed another run in the eighth to give Mankato the lead, but he did avoid disaster as he induced a double play to get out of a one-out, bases loaded jam.

Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee) was brought out of the bullpen to work the ninth for the Chinooks and keep the lead at one. He did his job, holding Mankato scoreless. 

Down by one, the Chinooks tied the game back up in the ninth to send it to extras. Parker reached base when he was hit by a pitch with two outs, and he then stole second. It was not a traditional steal, as Parker prematurely started towards second, causing MoonDogs pitcher Samuel Meyers (Central Arizona) to pick off to first. He made it to second safely regardless, however, and a mistake turned into a plus. Parker was then plated on a double from Zarley Zalewski (Kent State).

Tuttle stayed on to throw the 10th and 11th innings for the Chinooks while keeping the Mankato offense at bay. It was a masterful performance from the trusted southpaw as he threw three innings without giving up a hit and striking out three. 

Zalewski, who was the whole reason the Chinooks even got to extras in the first place, played hero in the bottom of the 11th. David Edson (USC) singled to lead off the inning and worked his way around to third with one out. With the game tied 4-4, Zalewski hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field to allow Edson to score the winning run. 

"I was thinking about doing my job and not trying to do too much." said Zalewski about his walk-off at-bat, "[I was] just trying to put the ball in the air and get the run in."

The Chinooks and MoonDogs will square off again on Friday. Then, Lakeshore will go on the road to take on the Kalamazoo Growlers. 

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 (WSH) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WSH), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.