Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks and Kalamazoo Growlers were only supposed to play one game on Friday, but after flooding conditions caused the team's two-game series last weekend to be postponed, the teams squared off for a doubleheader instead. The Chinooks jumped out to a 5-1 win in game one, but the offense fell cold as they lost game two 1-0.
Game One: Lakeshore Chinooks 5, Kalamazoo Growlers 1 (Seven Innings)
Kevin Long (Lehigh) struggled in his first two starts for the Chinooks, throwing just 4.0 innings while giving up six runs. Manager Eddy Morgan continued to show faith in him, however, running him out as the starter against Kalamazoo, and Long rewarded that faith.
The Growlers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Long walked Kory Young (Michigan State) in the frame, and Young worked his way around to third base. He was then plated when Corey Dempster (USC) hit a sacrifice fly.
That was all Long allowed, however, as he threw all seven innings for the Chinooks (the game was shortened to seven innings due to the doubleheader). He scattered just two hits throughout the start while walking three and striking out five. After the Chinooks recently waived Gavin Downs (Purdue) and Sterling Koerner (Florida Gulf Coast), who had been two of their better pitchers on the season, having a successful Long could be key to the team in the second half.
The Chinooks offense has struggled at times lately, and the primary cause of that has been many wasted opportunities. That was not the case in this game, however, as the Chinooks managed just five hits but still brought in five runs.
All five of those came in the top of the fourth inning. Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College) reached on an error to start the inning, and a double from Doug Kraeger (Richmond) and walk from Jack Benninghoff (Arkansas) proceeded to load the bases with no outs. Mark Kolozsvary (Florida) brought in Raley for the first run of the inning with a single.
Christian Hicks (Florida) earned himself an RBI after grounding into a fielder's choice to bring in Benninghoff, and the Chinooks took advantage of another error when Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) reached and brought home Kolozsvary. Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) did the final damage of the inning, singling in Hicks and Romano. That turned out to be all they needed as they cruised to a 5-1 victory.
Game Two: Kalamazoo 1, Lakeshore 0 (Nine Innings)
This game was only planned to last seven innings, but great pitching sent it to extras. John Schreiber (Kent State) got the spot start for the Chinooks, just his second of the year as he has primarily appeared out of Eddy Morgan's bullpen this season.
Schreiber had a nice outing, giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out three in 5.0 scoreless innings. He ran into some trouble in the first, giving up a single to Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) and walking Jordan Stading (Houston) to put two on with one out. He worked himself out of the jam, however, and settled down to allow just two more baserunners for the rest of the game.
Growlers starter Shane Bryant (Purdue) did his best to one up Schreiber, throwing seven shutout innings. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and ultimately allowed just one hit and one walk in the game. He also struck out seven.
Jake Tuttle (UW-Milwaukee) relieved Schreiber, and he had a great appearance as well. He tied his longest outing of the season by throwing three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two with no walks. Tuttle continues to be a solid piece out of the bullpen and lowered his ERA to 2.46 in this game.
The Chinooks brought on Jack Landwear (Illionois State) for the ninth, but the scoreless tie was finally broken there. Landwear got the first two batters out in the inning, but he then walked Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh). A single from Alex Gosser (Arkansas) advanced Yarnall to third, and then Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) played hero for the Growlers by ending the tie with a walk-off single, bringing home Yarnall.
The Chinooks and Growlers will do it all again on Saturday as they square off in another pair of seven-inning games.
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.