Mequon, WI – With 70 games having been played on the season, the Lakeshore Chinooks entered their final series of the year on Saturday. Taking on the Kalamazoo Growlers in the first contest of a two-game home series, the club was victorious by a final score of 4-3.
Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater) got his final start of the year in this one. After cruising through the first two innings, he ran into some trouble in the third, walking the first two batters in the inning. He managed to get out of the two-on, no-out threat, though, by getting a lineout and inducing a double play ball.
Pitching ruled as neither team had a hit until the fourth inning, and the Chinooks did not manage a baserunner off of Kalamazoo starter B.J. Butler (Ball State) until there were to outs in the bottom of the fourth. Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) quickly ended the perfect game and shutout with one swing, smacking a solo home run over the left field fence to make it a 1-0 game. The Chinooks had another chance to score in the inning after Lucas Raley (Lake Erie College) singled with Doug Kraeger (Richmond) on first, but Kraeger was cut down at home to keep the game at 1-0.
Bachar had a no-hitter of his own going until the top of the sixth, when it ended on an unfortunate call. With two outs in the inning, Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) grounded a ball up the middle that barely touched the shin of field umpire Anthony Warner before shortstop Anthony Massicci (Canisius) fielded the ball and threw to first before Fletcher got there. However, because the ball touched the umpire, the play was immediately dead and, by rule, Fletcher was awarded first base and a hit. Bachar did work out of a two-on, two-out jam, however, to preserve the shutout.
The Chinooks had a chance to add some insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Massici and Jake Romano (Miami-Ohio) smacked back-to-back singles to put two on with one out. However, Romano was then caught stealing, and Zalewski flew out to end the Lakeshore threat.
The team did manage to take advantage of an opportunity in the seventh to score three runs. Kraeger hit a double to begin the inning, and Raley followed with a walk. After Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) reached on a fielder's choice that retired Raley, Greg Deichmann (Louisiana State) came through with the big hit, bringing in Shaps and Kraeger with a double into right field. Deichmann then scored a run of his own thanks to David Edson (USC), who singled him home.
Bachar would end up throwing 7+ innings as he was removed from the game in the eighth after walking the first two batters of the frame. Jack Landwehr (Illinois) replaced him, but he allowed both inherited runners to score on a single off the bat of Fletcher. That meant that Bachar finished the game having thrown 7+ innings while being charged with two runs on just one hit and five strikeouts. Landwehr let another run come around in the inning when Marquise Gil (Eastern Michigan) brought in a run on a groundout, but he did strand the tying runner on third base as the Chinooks held on to a 4-3 lead.
The Chinooks brought in Connor Jones (Georgia) for the ninth to preserve the one-run lead. He did just that, earning the save as the score finished at 4-3.
The Chinooks will finish off the season on Sunday as they square off again with the Growlers at Kapco Park.
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.