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Chinooks Win First Home Game, Beat Spiders 5-4

 

Mequon, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (5-8) earned their first home win of the season Sunday night, beating the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, 5-4.

The Dock Spiders struck first, starting with an Andrew Bullock leadoff double in the top of the 2nd. Bullock later scored on an Eric Gilgenbach single, giving Fond du Lac the early 1-0 lead. Cyrillo Watson (Illinois) was fortunate to leave the 2nd inning only down one run, since the Spiders loaded the bases with only one out, but Watson was able to strand the runners.

“I felt pretty good, didn’t have the best fastball command, but I worked with what I could,” said Watson. When asked about the first home win of the season, Watson answered, “It felt really good to come out here in front of all these fans and get the win.”

The Chinooks retaliated quickly, scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Royce Ando (Michigan State) reached on an error by Spiders’ shortstop, Alex Ronnebaum, opening the door for the rest of the Lakeshore lineup. Drake Lubin (Eastern Michigan) later singled in Ando, tying the game at 1. After a Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State) single, Zach Biermann (Polk State) drove in Lubin and Kimple on a 2-run double, giving the Chinooks the 3-1 lead. Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas) then singled in Biermann, pushing the Lakeshore lead to 3. A Nick Gatewood (Georgia State) RBI double scored Richardson, making it a 5-1 game.

Dock Spiders’ starter, Kyle Huckaby, didn’t see his ERA climb at all, even though the Chinooks tallied 5 runs off him. The grounder hit to Ronnebaum should have ended the inning, but couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Because of this, all 5 runs in the inning were unearned.

The Spiders would later cut into the Chinooks’ lead, thanks to an Andrew Bullock 2-run homer. Cory Wills led off the inning with a double and would later come around to score on that home run from Bullock.

Fond du Lac made things interesting in the top of the 6th, cutting the Lakeshore lead to just one. Cory Wills led off the inning with a walk and later scored on an RBI groundout from Andrew Bullock. After this score, the Chinooks were up 5-4 and the rest of the game was put into the hands of the Lakeshore bullpen.

The Chinooks’ bullpen rebounded in a big way tonight, allowing just one run over 4.1 innings after Cyrillo Watson lasted just 4.2 innings. Making his Chinooks’ debut, Joe Heineman (Baylor) pitched 1.1 solid innings and earned the win. Parker Sanburn (Des Moines Area CC) recorded the first save of the season for Lakeshore, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings to secure the Chinooks’ 5-4 victory.

“It felt good. You know, the first appearance is always exciting and I was glad to be out there,” Heineman said after making his debut with the team. “The guys are hilarious, the pitching staff especially. A bunch of really good guys, really cool people to hang around.”

Dock Spiders’ Zack Kesterson pitched 6 innings of relief, taking over for starter Kyle Huckaby. Kesterson allowed just one hit and walked none over 6 scoreless frames while striking out 6 Lakeshore batters. For the Chinooks, Joe Heineman, Nick Campe (Olivet Nazarene), and Parker Sanburn combined to pitch 4.1 innings of relief, allowing just one run on four hits, walking two and striking out seven.

The Lakeshore Chinooks (5-8) travel to Fond du Lac tomorrow night to take on the Dock Spiders again as Aaron Patton (St. Louis) and the Chinooks look to sweep the 2-game series against the Dock Spiders.

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.