Chinooks Beat Growlers, 9-0, in Rain-Shortened Game


Kalamazoo, MI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (7-8) beat the Kalamazoo Growlers 9-0 in a rain-shortened, 6-inning game Wednesday night. With this win, the Chinooks swept the 2-game series in Kalamazoo and have now won 3 straight games.

Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State) got things started tonight with an RBI double in the top of the 2nd inning that drove in Daniel DeSimone (Oklahoma State) after he walked. The Chinooks took the early 1-0 lead and never looked back.

Lakeshore broke out for three runs in the top of the 3rd thanks to RBIs from Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) and Nick Gatewood (Georgia State). After Matthew Mika (Central Florida) and Nick Gatewood led off the inning with back-to-back singles, Thomas knocked in Mika with a single of his own. Daniel DeSimone then grounded into a double play, but allowed Gatewood to score to give the Chinooks a 3-0 lead. Nick Cheema (Arizona State) later singled, scoring Thomas and pushing the Lakeshore lead to 4.

The bottom half of the inning was a very strange one for Chinooks’ starter, Zach Spears (Miami-Ohio). In the inning, Spears threw 3 wild pitches that were over the head of catcher Nick Cheema. Spears looked very shaky at the start of the inning, but later settled in and struck out the next three hitters he faced after walking the leadoff hitter.

Matthew Mika and Drake Lubin (Eastern Michigan) both walked to start off the top of the 4th, and both later came around to score after a 2-run single from Rylan Thomas.

The top of the 6th, which was the last inning played, featured the Chinooks piling on three more runs to their already 6-run lead. Connor Kimple led off the inning with a double and later scored on a Nick Gatewood RBI groundout. After Matthew Mika and Rylan Thomas both reached, TJ Raguse (Baylor) was able to make it to first base after an error by the Growlers’ right fielder, Brynn Martinez. Mika and Thomas both ended up scoring in the inning, which gave the Chinooks a commanding 9-0 lead.

Lakeshore outscored Kalamazoo 22-6 in the 2-game series, thanks to solid pitching and some impressive performances from the offense. The game tonight featured a complete game, 1-hit shutout from Chinooks’ starter, Zach Spears, albeit a 5-inning complete game. Spears allowed just one hit, walked 4, and struck out 6 in 5 shutout innings.

Connor Kimple went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Rylan Thomas went 2-4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored, helping the Chinooks put up 9 runs on 8 hits.

The Lakeshore Chinooks (7-8) look to make it 4 wins in a row tomorrow night as Luke Sommerfeld (Saint Louis) and the Chinooks head to Battle Creek to take on the Bombers.

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 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.