Lucas Raley Hits 4 HRs, ‘Nooks Split
Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks and Kalamazoo Growlers split a doubleheader on Friday, and the teams did it all again on Saturday. The result was the same as each team took home one game, but it did come in a bit more exciting fashion thanks to a historic performance in game one.
Game One: Lakshore Chinooks 16, Kalamazoo Growlers 2 (Seven Innings)
The Chinooks offense broke out in this game, and the credit goes to Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College). He smacked four home runs in the game, the first time that a Northwoods League player has ever had that many homers in one contest. That was enough for Raley to have eight RBIs, and he now leads the Northwoods League with nine home runs, three more than the next-best player.
The Chinooks got the scoring going in the bottom of the first, plating a run off of Raley's first homer, a solo shot. Kalamazoo actually took a lead in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs off of starter Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater). Bachar deserves plenty of credit for this one, though, as he threw all seven innings, giving up just those two runs, one of which was unearned. He also struck out five and walked just one.
The onslaught began in the top of the third, when the Chinooks plated four runs. Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) led off the inning with a walk, and he was bourhg in on a Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) sacrifice fly. The Chinooks then took a 3-2 lead on Raley's second home run of the game, another solo shot. The team put two more runners on via a walk from Doug Kraeger (Richmond) and a double by Colby Fitch (Louisville), and both were driven home when Jack Benninghoff (Arkansas) singled.
The club kept things going in the fourth, scoring three more runs. Raley actually made an out in the inning, the only at-bat in the game he did not go yard, but that hardly mattered for the Chinooks. Fiala did the big damage in the inning, smacking a two-RBI single, and Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) added an RBI base hit of his own.
Raley knocked his third home run in the game, a three-run blast, as part of a four-run fifth for the Chinooks. Fiala did more damage in the inning as well, bringing in a run via a single. The final four runs of the game came in the top of the sixth, when Raley hit another three-run shot. Greg Deichmann (Louisiana State) also did some damage in the frame with an RBI single.
Altogether, the Chinooks scored their 16 runs on 18 hits and two Growlers errors. Raley was certainly the biggest performer, but Fiala also had a nice game, driving in four with two hits, and Benninghoff also added two RBIs in a two-hit performance.
Game Two: Growlers 2, Chinooks 1 (Seven Innings)
Raley bounced back to earth in game two, going one for three with a walk, and the Chinooks offense followed suit. The team managed seven hits, which was actually five more than the Growlers could muster, but in the end they came out on bottom.
Weston Mason (Louisiana-Monroe) got a spot start for the Chinooks thanks to the doubleheader. He threw a scoreless first inning, but back out in the second, he ran into trouble. Mason gave up two runs in the inning, though neither were earned after an error by Zalewski at third base with two outs kept Mason from getting out of the inning unscathed.
Regardless, Mason was relieved by Joe Stoll (Ohio State) with two outs in the second. Stoll had a nice outing to keep the game close at hand, throwing 3.1 shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and one walk in his appearance while punching out two.
The Chinooks scored their lone run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. It came via home run once again, this time off of the bat of Deichmann, his first of the season. Deichmann has shown great power potential the entire year, and the Chinooks will hope a solid day for him on Saturday will get his bat hot.
Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) was the final reliever that the Chinooks needed to use. He worked around a walk to throw a scoreless inning, giving the Chinooks one more chance to try to tie the game in the seventh. Ultimately, however, they could not do so.
The Chinooks will now go on the road to Battle Creek for a two-game series against the Bombers. The team then plays two games in Kenosha before returning home.
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.