Kalamazoo, MI – The Lakeshore Chinooks continued their Michigan road trip as they traveled to Kalamazoo to take on the Growlers for game one of a two game series. The Chinooks came into the game on a three game winning streak and looked to carry that momentum into this series.
The Growlers struck early on Chinooks starter Cole Gnetz (Miami-Ohio) who took the mound for his sixth start of the season with the Chinooks and came in with a 3.64 ERA and 19 strikeouts in his twenty four and two thirds innings of work. In the bottom of the first, Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) homered to give the Growlers an early 1-0 lead.
The Chinooks got on the board in the top of the fourth after they riped Growlers righty pitcher, BJ Butler (Ball State) who took the mound and made his fifth start of the season and came in with an impressive 0.64 ERA and 27 strikeouts in his twenty eight and two thirds innings pitched. Tim Dalporto (Kent State) reached first off an error by the Growlers third baseman. Matt Johnson (Eastern Illinois) advanced Dalporto to second after he singled and Darius Sewell (Georgia State) brought all runners home after he homered for the second game in a row and gave the Chinooks a 3-0 lead.
The Growlers kept it close in the bottom of the seventh after Tre Gantt (Ohio State) doubled and Camden Duzenack (Dallas Baptist) followed with a single to put runners on first and third. With two outs, the Chinooks made a call to the bullpen after Gnetz went six and two thirds innings giving up 2 runs off of 5 hits and brought in Luke Sommerfeld (Saint Louis) who took the mound for the Chinooks with a 2.87 ERA. After a wild pitch from Sommerfeld, Ganns scored to put the Growlers down by one, 3-2. After going a third of an inning, Sommerfeld would be taken out and Nick Horvath (Florida) took the mound for one inning and did his job, holding the Growlers scoreless.
The Chinooks did not want to keep this one close. In the top of the ninth, Sewell started the ball club off with a walk after being hit by a pitch. Kurtis Brown (Richmond) followed with a single to put runners on first and second which brought Royce Ando (Michigan State) to the plate who roped a single to bring Sewell and Brown home and make it 5-2 Chinooks. Keenan Bartlett (Richmond) sealed the deal for the Chinooks in the bottom of the ninth by racking up two strikeouts and holding the Growlers scoreless to help secure the win for the Chinooks and put the team on a four game win streak.
The Chinooks will face the Growlers in game two tomorrow night at 7:05
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, visithttp://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.