Kenosha, WI— The Chinooks dropped their fourth straight contest, and their second in a row to Kenosha, after falling at the throne of the Kingfish, 4-3. The loss moves Lakeshore to 3-5 on the season.
The scoring started early for the Kingfish. After Max Widmar reached on an error, Derek Bangert (Bradley) smacked a line drive homer well over the left-field fence to give the fish a 2-0 lead after two innings.
That Bangert bash, along with multiple quality at-bats by the Kingfish lineup, chased Chinooks starter Cyrillo Watson (Illinois) from the game after just two innings. Watson, who in his last start threw 95 pitches in seven shutout innings of work and caused 17 whiffs from Madison Mallard batters, tossed 56 pitches in his two innings tonight and had trouble missing bats as Kingfish batters made contact 22 times.
However, Chinooks reliever Marshall Oetting (Concordia Ann-Arbor) came up big to shut the door and keep Lakeshore within striking distance. The lefty tossed 4.1 innings of one-run baseball with no walks and two strikeouts.
“I felt pretty good, my off-speed was finally working the way I wanted it to,” Oetting said. “I don't like walking guys, I had two walks last time out on the mound and didn't walk anyone tonight. I was really focused on doing that. Just throw strikes and get ahead of guys.”
The Chinook bats finally came to life in the 5th inning. A Nick Cheema (Arizona State) walk lead things off, but after two consecutive strikeouts, things again looked bleak against Kenosha starter Quinn Snarskis (St. Josephs). But, a two-out walk by Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State) set up Chinooks newcomer Drake Lupin (Eastern Michigan) and he delivered by lacing a 0-1 curveball up the middle to drive in Cheema for the first run of the game.
“The guys are really welcoming and we gel really well as a team,” Lupin said. “I got a couple hits, which is good…my job [as a lead-off hitter] is to get on and have guys hit me in.”
Though Lupin played more of a Zach Biermann (Polk State), RBI role tonight, he still displayed some lead-off abilities as his RBI knock in the fifth set up a string of three straight innings in which the Chinooks saw a runner cross the plate.
Side Note: Biermann, who is batting .400 with 4 homers and 13 RBI so far this season was out today after a curveball hit him on the head in yesterday’s game. He is expected to return to action tomorrow.
In the sixth, Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas), who is more known for his power, started off with a perfectly placed bunt single and came around to score on a wild pitch. In the seventh, Kimple rocketed a triple into the right-center gap and was knocked in via a Richardson sac fly to deep center.
After seven full innings it was tied at 3-3, but the Chinooks’ bullpen, which had given up 20 runs over the previous three games, couldn't hold the Kingfish off the scoreboard in the eighth.
A rocket single by Connor Doyle (San Diego), beautify placed bunt by Mark Skonieczny (Illinois) and bloop RBI single by Ben Troike (Illinois) employed the old school get ‘em on, get ‘em over and get ‘em in strategy to give the Kingfish a 4-3 lead and set-up their closer, Billy McKay (Florida), who fish fans affectionally call “the lawnmower.”
McKay, in typical mechanized fashion, sheared the Chinooks to give his fish a clean cut win.
The Chinooks head to Wausau, Wisconsin tomorrow, in hopes of breaking their losing streak, for the first of two against the Woodchucks. Aaron Patton (St. Louis), who threw six scoreless in his last start, will take the mound.
“We just gotta stay positive I think,” Oetting said. “That’s the best we can do. It’s baseball, you can lose 4 in a row, but you can win 10 in a row. Gotta stay positive through it all.”
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.