Mother Nature Has Other Plans In Home Opener
Mequon, WI – Play was halted in the bottom of the fifth inning on Saturday when a thick fog rolled in off Lake Michigan to cover the entirety of Kapco Field. After a two and half hour fog delay, the game was resumed only to be paused yet again due to another fog surge in the top of the sixth inning.
The game would ultimately be called due to the second influx of fog that prevented play from being continued. The league has ruled that the game was valid and final, and as a result the Chinooks recorded their third win of the season, beating the Bullfrogs 2-1.
The Chinooks did not hesitate to jump ahead of the Bullfrogs early, as center fielder Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) continued to stay hot by slapping a single to right field to kick start the offense in the first. Matt Johnson (South Dakota State) later hammered a double off the right field wall to score Duncan from second, giving Lakeshore a speedy 1-0 lead.
Lakeshore struck again in the fourth. Alec Olund (Purdue) lead off the inning with a single to center, later advancing to second on a passed ball and then moving over to third on a ground ball by Matt Johnson. Olund would ultimately come around to score on an RBI ground ball by Kevin Riley (Chaffey Community College) to give the Chinooks a 2-0 advantage.
The Bullfrogs surged back in the top of the fifth after two walks were issued to start the inning and a ground ball by Laren Eustace (Indiana) drove in Raymond Greco (UW-Stevens Point) from third to bring the Bullfrogs back within one going into the sixth.
Fog was visible for most of the night, but it was not a factor to the continuance of the game until the bottom of the fifth. At first, clouds of fog ominously made their way across the field, covering the outfield in a thin layer while play still continued. However, in a matter of minutes the fog’s density dramatically increased and it was nearly impossible to see the field. The umpires then instinctively signaled for a fog delay to protect the safety of the players.
Play was resumed two and half hours later after the umpires and league elected to wait to until the onslaught on fog receded.
Once again, mother nature had a different agenda. After the bottom of the fifth was complete and with two outs in the top of the sixth, another wave of fog seemingly out of no where appeared and covered the field once more.
The umpires at that point convened with one another and, with approval from the league, decided to call the game due to the fog.
The fog unfortunately took the spotlight away from Chinooks starter Zach Spears (Miami-Ohio), who was pitching an incredible game in front of the 2,100 fans in attendance until play was called off. Spears dominated Bullfrog batters with a devastating breaking ball and an overpowering fastball. In his five innings of work, Spears struck out an impressive nine batters, and though he walked four, he only gave up one run on two hits. Spears would go on to get the win, and Bullfrogs starting pitcher Clayton Uselmann (Madison College) would be issued the loss.
The Chinooks travel to Green Bay on Sunday to square off against the Bullfrogs at 4:05pm.
Opening week in Wisconsin in the Northwoods League is presented by Edvest. Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 to start an Edvest college savings plan, and account owners can choose from more than 22 investment portfolios while enjoying one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the U.S. along with in-state tax advantages for Wisconsin residents. SavingforCollege.com recently ranked Edvest as of the Top 15 in 529 Performance, the ninth Lowest Cost 529 plans, as well as awarded the program a 5-Cap Rating, which indicates that a 529 plan offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits. Find out more at www.edvest.com.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-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 140 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.