Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks started their final road trip of the year the right way, defeating the Wisconsin Woodchucks on Thursday. The two teams squared off again on Friday to finish off the two-game series, and the Chinooks managed to come through to sweep the series, winning 13-4.
The Chinooks took the early advantage with a run in the top of the first. Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) reached second base on an error with two outs, and the Lakeshore squad took advantage of the Woodchucks' mistake. Doug Kraeger (Richmond) followed up with a double, scoring Zalewski to make it 1-0.
The club really broke things open in the second. Jack Benninghoff (Arkansas) reached base via a leadoff double, and he would come around to score when Greg Deichmann (Louisiana State) got on thanks to another Woodchucks error. Colby Fitch (Louisville) hit a double of his own to put runners on second and third, and the Chinooks added another run thanks to Anthony Massicci (Canisius), who singled home Deichmann. The scoring continued when Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) tripled in Fitch and Massicci, and Romano would later come around to score a run of his own, making it 6-0 when the dust cleared at the end of the inning.
Zac Lowther (Xavier) got the start for the Chinooks. He held the Woodchucks scoreless in the first two innings before running into some trouble in the third. Lowther let up two runs on a bases-loaded single off the bat of Jared Oliva (Arizona), narrowing the lead to 6-2.
The Woodchucks plated another run in the top of the sixth when Oliva smacked a solo shot. That would be Lowther's last inning, but it was an overall solid effort from him as he yielded three runs in 6.0 innings while striking out seven batters.
The Chinooks added an insurance run in the top of the eighth courtesy of Fitch. He blasted a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the inning, bringing the score to 7-3. The team added more insurance in the ninth as they really broke the game wide open. Kraeger led off the inning with a double, and he came around to score on a Jack Benninghoff (Arkansas) single. After Eric Fasnacht (Concordia- St. Paul) hit a single of his own, both he and Benninghoff came home when Fitch doubled. Massicci then singled, and Romano reached on an error that allowed Fitch to score. The club added two more runs thanks to Zalewski, scoring Massicci and Romano to make the score 13-3.
Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) was the only reliever that Chinooks manager Eddy Morgan needed to use. He fired three innings, letting up just one run that came in the ninth. He gave up just two hits and two walks while striking out one.
The Lakeshore squad will return home for the start of their final series of the year on Saturday. They will be taking on the Kalamazoo Growlers and will finish up the two-game set, and the season, on Sunday.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21 year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing 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 (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.