Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks and Mankato MoonDogs battled on Friday in the second of a two-game series. The Chinooks took home the first game of the series 5-4, but they were not as fortunate in the second game, losing 5-1 to split the series.
The Chinook struck first, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) got aboard via a two-out triple, and he then came around to score on a single from Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College). Fiala has been impressive so far for the Chinooks. Entering play on Friday, he was hitting .350 with seven extra base hits in 16 games. He also had walked just as much as he had struck out, 11 times each, making him the only Chinooks player that has not struck out more than he has walked.
The team had another chance to strike in the bottom of the second but could not take advantage of the opportunity. They loaded the bases with one out after walks from Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) and Mark Kolozsvary (Florida) and a base knock from David Edson (USC). However, MoonDogs starter Grant Hamilton (Oklahoma City) worked himself out of the jam.
Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater) had a solid start for Lakeshore but did not provide quite the length that we have seen from him in the past. He held the MoonDogs scoreless through four innings, but he allowed the game to be tied 1-1 after allowing a run in the fifth. Kevin Hall (North Alabama) did the damage with an RBI single.
The MoonDogs plated the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth. Bachar got two outs and gave up a walk in the frame before departing in favor of Joe Stoll (Ohio). The inherited runner scored when Stoll balked and then gave up a base hit to Hunter Mercado-Hood (San Diego). Altogether, Bachar would be charged with two runs in his 5.2 innings pitched while striking out two and walking two.
Stoll stayed on to begin the seventh but he was pulled after putting runners on first and third with one out. The Chinooks turned to Weston Mason (Louisiana-Monroe), and he got his team out of the jam unscathed. Mason, making his Chinooks debut, also stayed on for the eighth, working out of a bases-loaded jam to fire a scoreless frame.
Mankato broke things open in the ninth by plating three runs. Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) came on to pitch for the Chinooks, but he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing with one out. Manager Eddy Morgan brought in Rustin Sveum (Dixie State), who allowed two inherited runners to score to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
The Chinooks will now travel to take on the Kalamazoo Growlers in a two-game series. The team will then have an off day on Monday, June 29th.
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.