Battle Creek, MI— The Lakeshore Chinooks fell to 1-1 on the season after the Battle Creek Bombers took game two of the season-opening two game series 5-3.
The Chinooks’ bats came out hot in the top of the first as Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas) knocked a two-RBI single to bring home Caleb Dean (Lamar) and Zach Biermann (Polk State). Brian Sobieski later came around to score on a dropped third strike to make it 3-0.
The Bombers answered right back in the bottom half. Logan Kaletha (John A. Logan) lead off with a double and easily trotted home after Nick Walker (Austin Peay) launched a triple into the left centerfield gap. Walker later scored on an error by Lakeshore catcher Justin Bardwell (Fordham) who airmailed a pickoff throw well over the head of first baseman Zach Biermann.
It was 3-2 Chinooks after one full inning, and it would stay that way until the bottom of the fourth when Lakeshore’s Cole Gnetz (Miami-Ohio) subbed in for starter Sam Lund.
After striking out the first man he faced on four pitches, Gnetz threw only 9 of his next 26 pitches for strikes. The result was two bases loaded walks and a 4-3 lead for the Bombers after 4.
The Bombers tacked on their fifth run in the bottom of the sixth via a Nick Walker sacrifice fly off Lakeshore lefty Marshall Oetting (Concordia Ann-Arbor).
Once the Bombers got a lead, they never looked back. The Bomber pitching staff, after a blown save last night and a rough first inning, rallied by tossing eight shutout innings to close things out. Over those final eight, the Chinooks only registered 4 hits and left 7 runners on base.
Bomber starter Andrew Click (Davenport) earned his first win of the season with five strong innings. He only struck out two Chinooks, a far cry from yesterday’s starter, Trent Johnson (John A. Logan), who dominated with 12 strikeouts and 17 generated whiffs. However, Click was effective by inducing nine ground balls, including one double play, to keep Lakeshore off the scoreboard. Overall, the Chinooks recorded 10 groundball outs after hitting only 3 in last night’s 13 inning marathon.
Left-handed pitchers have been a problem early this year for the Chinooks. After Taylor Horn (Wayne State) struck 4 of the six batters he faced last night, another Bomber lefty, Tom Stoffel (Virginia Tech), struck out 3 of 4. In total, lefties have generated 14 whiffs and Chinooks hitters have only made contact on 10 swings.
Next up, the Chinooks will head to Madison tomorrow night to take on the Mallards at 6:35. Cyrillo Watson (Illinois) will make his Chinooks debut and face off against the Mallads’ Matt McCarty (Louisville).
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.