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Chinooks Fall To Rivets On 13th Inning Wild Pitch Walk-Off

Rockford, IL – After a hard-fought loss in a grudge match against Green Bay on Sunday, the Chinooks were defeated by the Rockford Rivets in a close battle on Monday. A wild pitch from Chinooks reliever Brandon Parr (Madison College) sailed to the backstop to bring home Cory Wright (Kansas State) from third, sealing the game for the Rivets in the 13th inning by a score of 4-3.

Keenan Bartlett (Richmond) started the game on the bump for Lakeshore. It was Bartlett’s first start for the Chinooks and his first appearance on the mound since his impressive save in Kalamazoo on June 1st. He pitched four scoreless innings in that game, giving up only two hits and striking out two as he secured the 3-1 victory over the Growlers for Lakeshore.

Following a scoreless frame through the first two innings, the Chinooks finally struck first in the third inning against Rockford’s starter Drake Robinson (Iowa). A lead off single by center fielder Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) kicked off the inning for Lakeshore, followed by a single from Matt Johnson (South Dakota State) that advanced Duncan to second. A ground ball fielder’s choice by Zac Taylor (Houston) would allow Duncan to reach safely at third, but Johnson would be thrown out attempting to advance to second on the play for the first out of the inning.

However, the Rivets did not buckle, as a walk issued to Joe Kubera put the lead off runner on in the bottom of the third. Kubera would advance to second on a ground ball by Braden Williams (Texas Tech), then proceeded to come around to score on a double off the bat of Joshua Hauser to tie the score at 1-1.

Lakeshore broke the tie in the fifth. Lead off hitter Matt Johnson started the inning with a walk, later advancing to second on a single by Zac Taylor. Kurtis Brown (Richmond) subsequently grounded into a double play, but Johnson moved safely to third on the play. Then right fielder Alec Olund (Purdue) stepped up in the clutch for the Chinooks, driving a two-out RBI single to right field to score Johnson from third to give Lakeshore a 2-1 lead.

The Chinooks would tack on one more run in the sixth after Joe Duncan smashed an RBI single to left off of Rivets reliever Anthony Dahl (Arkansas) to score Royce Ando (Michigan State) from third, increasing the Chinooks advantage to 3-1.

The advantage was short lived, as once again the Rivets came charging back in the bottom of the sixth. After Ricardo Ramirez (UIC) and Jordan Hovey (Missouri State) were issued one-out walks to begin the surge, a fielder’s choice off the bat of Neal Tyrell (Lewis) advanced Ramirez to third but resulted in Hovey being thrown out at second base for the second out of the inning. Following a walk issued to Cory Wright resulted in the bases being loaded for Rockford, Cade Bunnell (Kansas State) delivered a huge two-out single to left field, scoring Ramirez and Tyrell on the play to even up the score at 3-3 for the Rivets.

Keenan Bartlett would be relieved by Luke Sommerfeld (Saint Louis) after Bunnell’s single tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Bartlett finished the day with five and one-third innings pitched, giving up three runs on three hits and striking out four in his debut start. But he could not find his control when it mattered most, issuing five walks on the day, three of which occurred in the eventful sixth inning.

Pitching dominated on both sides after the sixth, as both teams struggled to take the lead going into the ninth. When the ninth inning was completed, the score still remained dead-locked at 3-3, prompting the continuation of the game into extra innings.

Chris Choles (North Dakota State) made his debut appearance on the mound for the Chinooks in the seventh, entering the game in relief of Luke Sommerfeld. He pitched marvelously out of the bullpen for manager Eddy Morgan, holding the Rivets hitless with six strikeouts in his scoreless four innings of work.

After a successful inaugural performance, Choles was replaced by right-hander Brandon Parr in the eleventh. Like Choles, Parr was also making his debut appearance on the mound for Lakeshore, determined to silence the Rivets offense and earn his first win of the season.

Parr pitched well in the eleventh, getting out of a stressful jam to ultimately leave two runners on for Rockford. Following a one-two-three inning in the bottom of the twelfth, Parr came out confident in the thirteenth with the momentum in his favor.

However, the Rockford offense wasted little time attacking Parr in the thirteenth. Neal Tyrell slapped a one-out single to left to get the ball rolling for the Rivets, later advancing to third on a double to left by Cory Wright. Then, Cade Bunnell demonstrated his plate discipline in the subsequent at-bat, drawing a walk on a full count from Parr to load the bases with one out in the inning.

With bases juiced for Rockford, Parr settled down and forced Joe Kubera to hit a sharp ground ball to Chinooks short stop Owen Miller (Illinois State), who fielded it cleanly and fired a bullet home to get the second out of the inning and keep the score tied up. But, Lakeshore failed to record another out on the play, resulting in the other runners to securely advance one base.

With the bases loaded once again, nine-hole hitter Braden Williams stepped into the box in a critical opportunity for the Rivets. After he swung and missed on the first pitch from Parr, Williams watched the second pitch of the at-bat fly outside of the zone, getting behind catcher Hayden Senger (Miami-Ohio). Senger scrambled for the ball but could not recover it in time, as Cory Wright dashed from third base to score the conclusive game-winning run on a walk-off wild pitch.

Brandon Parr received the loss in his first appearance of the year, ultimately charged with one run after giving up two hits and one walk in his two innings of work.

Rivets reliever Cory Wright, who started the game in left field but came on in relief in the eleventh inning, picked up the win in his second pitching appearance of the year. Wright held the Chinooks scoreless in his three innings of work, giving up only two hits and striking out two as he recorded his first win of the season.

With the loss, the Chinooks drop their record to 2-4 on the year. They hope to pick up a much needed win in their next matchup, as they return home to Kapco Park to face off against the Rivets once again at 11:35am on Tuesday.

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The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods 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 150 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 portal. For more information, visit http://northwoodsleague.com/lakeshore-chinooks.