Mequon, WI – The Chinooks returned to Kapco Park on Tuesday after being defeated 6-2 by the division-rival Madison Mallards in game one of the series on Monday. Even though the Chinooks’ offense had a little more pop in game two, Lakeshore ultimately couldn’t get things going, falling 7-5 against Madison as the Mallards complete the series sweep.
Joey Abraham (Vanderbilt) made his fifth start of the year on the mound for Lakeshore. Abraham’s previous four starts have been marked by command issues, racking up a total of eighteen walks over 16 innings pitched. But, his composure in strenuous situations has been a major strength, being able to get himself out of innings by pitching to contact and relying on his off-speed pitches to strike out a total of 18 batters this season. Though he came into Tuesday with a 1-2 record, he posted a 3.37 ERA and held the opposition to only 14 hits on the season.
Mitchell Kilkenny (Texas AM) started on the bump for the second time this season for the Mallards. In his last outing, Kilkenny held the Kalamazoo Growlers scoreless, only allowing six hits and striking out six in his five innings of work for Madison.
The Chinooks struck first in the bottom of the second. Tim DalPorto (Kent State) started off the inning with a lead off double to right-center, later advancing to third after a bloop pop fly to right field off the bat of Matt Johnson (South Dakota State) couldn’t be handled by Mallards’ first baseman Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville University). Then a fielder’s choice by Zac Taylor (Houston) scored DalPorto from third to give the Chinooks a 1-0 lead.
However, the lead was short lived, as the Mallards emphatically answered in the top of the third. A lead off walk issued to Josh Stowers (Louisville) followed by a single up the middle by Joe Stefanki (San Jose State) started the inning for Madison. Then a ground ball hit to the left side of the infield by Nico Hoerner (Stanford) was not fielded cleanly by Chinooks’ third baseman Kevin Riley (Chaffey CC), allowing Stowers to score from second on the play to even the score at 1-1.
The Mallards continued their surge, as a bunt-single by Matt McCann (Fairleigh Dickinson) loaded up the bases with no outs still recorded. After Sam Armstrong flied to left for the first out of the inning, Zach Jarret (UNC-Charlotte) squared up on a 1-0 delivery from Abraham and roped a double off the left field wall, bring home Stefanki and Hoerner to increase the Mallards’ lead to 3-1.
Madison wasn’t done yet. After a walk issued to Cameron Frost (Washington State) loaded the bases once again for the Mallards, Abraham walked Matt Vierling (Notre Dame) to score McCann from third to increase Madison’s advantage to 4-1.
Abraham’s night would end there, as Chinooks’ manager Eddy Morgan passed the ball to Brandon Parr (UW-Parkside) to get out of the inning. But, Parr left a 1-1 delivery over the middle of the plate, and Nick Roark (Oral Roberts) jumped all over it and lined an RBI single to center to score Jarret and make it 5-1 Mallards. Parr was able to get of the inning by inducing a ground ball to third, but the damage had already been done as the Mallards tacked on five runs in the third.
The Mallards tacked on another run in the top of the fifth. Brandon Parr hit Zach Jarret with a 1-0 breaking ball to put the lead off man on for Madison. Jarret would advance to third after Parr soared a pickoff throw over the head of Chinooks’ first baseman Matt Johnson. Then, a drop third strike slid underneath the legs of catcher Tim DalPorto, allowed Jarret to come around to score on the wild pitch to make it a 6-1 ballgame.
Relief appearances by Liam Jenkins (Arizona State) and Joe Stoll (Ohio State) held the Mallards’ offense at bay until the Mallards surged once again in the top of the ninth against Chinooks' releiver Austin Jones (UW-Whitewater). Back-to-back walks issued to Matt McCann and Sam Armstrong put runners on second and first to lead off the inning. Then, an RBI single to center by Zach Jarret scored McCann from second to increase the Mallards’ lead to 7-1.
The Chinooks didn’t go down without a fight in the bottom of the ninth. Kevin Berge (St. John Fisher College) came into the game to pitch for the Mallards, but the Chinooks weren’t phased by his entrance. Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) slapped a single to right to lead off the inning for Lakeshore. Next, on a ground ball by Royce Ando, Berge sailed the throw to first into right field, allowing Duncan to advance to third and move Ando to second. Tim DalPorto then stepped up and hit a hard ground ball down the left field line to score Duncan and Ando and make the score 7-3. A walk issued to Matt Johnson advance DalPorto to second, and then a single by Zac Taylor loaded up the bases for Lakeshore. Then, Kurtis Brown (Richmond) roped a full count delivery from Berge down the right field line to score DalPorto and Johnson to decrease the Mallards’ advantage to 7-5.
However, a strikeout by Kevin Riley and a fly out to right off the bat of Darius Sewell sealed the game for the Mallards as they emerge victorious 7-5.
Joey Abraham was issued his third loss of the season after allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks in his 2.1 innings of work. Mitchell Kilkenny was awarded his second win of the year after holding the Chinooks to only one run on three hits, tallying one strikeout and one walk in his 6.0 innings of work. Logan Sheer (UNC-Charlotte) picked up his first save of the year after coming into the game in the top of the ninth with one-out and retiring the two batters he faced to secure the 7-5 victory for the Mallards.
With the loss the Chinooks drop their record to 11-19 on the year, while the Mallards improve to 18-10 for the season.
The Chinooks have their first off day of the season on Wednesday, but return to action on Thursday to face off once again with the Madison Mallards in Madison at 6:35pm.
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 or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.