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Chinooks Drop First Game Of Day

Mequon, WI – With Tuesday the last day of the first half in the Northwoods League, it was the final day that teams could battle for the first of two chances to get into the playoffs. The Lakeshore Chinooks entered with an outside chance of finding their way on top of the Northwoods League South Division (only the division winner makes the playoffs). The team took on the first place Kenosha Kingfish at home in the first game of a home-and-away doubleheader on the day, but they fell out of the race with a 6-1 loss.

Gavin Downs (Purdue) was the starter for the Chinooks, and while he was not quite at his best early on, he did do enough to keep his team in the game. Downs let up the first run of the game in top of the first, when Bobby Sheppard (Buffalo), who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a Jeremy Vazquez (Florida) ground out. Back out in the second, he let up another run, this time on a Jason Scholl (Eastern Illinois) solo home run. The third inning went in similar fashion, as the Kingfish scored one more run thanks to a Zach Ratcliff (Ohio State) RBI single.

Downs settled down after the third inning, however, holding Kenosha scoreless for the next three innings. He would end up firing 6.0 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and three walks. Even though he might not have had his best stuff early, Downs did a great job of staying focused and delivered a solid outing.

The Chinooks first threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth. Doug Kraeger (Richmond) and David Edson (USC) smacked back-to-back base hits to put runners on first and second with no outs. Greg Deichmann (LSU) reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, putting guys on second and third with one out. However, a baserunning mistake by Deichmann on a groundout from Anthony Massicci (Canisius) cost the team a run and ended the inning. 

The Chinooks did come back in the bottom of the sixth, however, to plate their first run of the game and close the deficit to two runs. Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) grounded out. Romano then scored when Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College) brought him in with a single. 

Another chance came in the bottom of the seventh, but the Chinooks did not capitalize. They loaded the bases with one out after Krager walked, Edson reached on an error and Massicci was hit by a pitch. The team could not take advantage, though, and left the inning without scoring.

Zac Lowther (Xavier) was brought on in relief of Downs in the seventh. He was the only reliever that the Chinooks would need as he threw three innings, giving up three runs, all of which came in the top of the ninth. 

Ultimately, the Chinooks could not mount a rally and the score finished at 6-1. These two teams will square off again for another contest on Tuesday as both clubs will take the hour and a half bus ride down to Kenosha for a 7:05 p.m. game. After that, the Chinooks return home on Wednesday to open up the second half with the first contest of a two-game series against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. 

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.