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Chinooks Shut Out by Bombers, 3-0

 

Battle Creek, MI—The Chinooks were shutdown by the Battle Creek Bombers, 3-0, on Friday night and fell to 7-10 on the season. 

The loss completed a two-game sweep for Battle Creek, this coming right after the Chinooks swept the Kalamazoo Growlers in two games to open their four-game Michigan road trip. Overall, they finished the trip an admirable 2-2. 

The star of tonight’s action was Battle Creek’s starting pitcher, Thomas Parsons, who tossed a five-hit, complete game shutout that only needed 94 total pitches. After giving up a lead-off hit to the Chinooks Drake Lubin, Parsons went on a roll. He retired the next 14 straight before giving up a single to Nick Cheema to lead off the sixth. 

The seventh was the only inning Parsons had any real trouble. A one-out double by Nick Gatewood and a subsequent infield single by Rylan Thomas, which could easily have been an error, set the stage for Jacob Richardson to break a 0-0 tie. 

Richardson delivered, knocking a ground ball into left field, but Gatewood, on an aggressive send, was thrown out by left fielder Alex Howard to keep the shutout intact. 

On the other side of the ball, Chinooks starter Shane Smith threw a dazzling gem of his own. The 6’0 maestro of control was hitting all the corners through six shutout innings, but a leadoff, wall-scraping homer by JD Mundy in the top of the seventh ended his shutout bid and put Battle Creek on the board, 1-0.  

That homer sent the Chinooks into a downward spiral. The very next pitch by Smith was laced into the right-center gap by Nick Walker for a stand-up double, and even though the following two hitters tried to give themselves up via bunt, two consecutive errors by the Chinooks extended the inning and allowed Walker to trot his way into home and put the Bombers up 2-0 after 7. 

The 8th inning wasn't much prettier for Chinook pitching. Brandon McGuigan entered the game and hit the first person he saw. Then, a sac bunt and RBI single by Tom Stoffel—the classic get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in strategy—plated the third and final Bomber run of the day. 

It also ended a curious day for the Bombers offensively after they generated 2 of their 3 runs through bunts. 

The Bombers came into the day with 7 sacrifice bunts, a number that’s on the higher end of the Northwoods League, but they’re certainly not known for using bunting as their main offensive weapon. In fact, Battle Creek normally success with extra base hits. Currently, their 34 doubles lead the Northwoods League and their 11 homers are tied for third most in the South Division. 

Even more curious, the Chinooks aren't known for defensive lapses. Their 23 errors sit them about the middle of the pack, 9th highest, in the Northwoods League and 8 of those errors came from temporary players who’ve been waived. But, it’s hard to argue with results and the Bombers ended the day 13-5 with a strong grasp of second place in the South division. 

The Chinooks get back to baseball tomorrow, and if they were feeling down about tonight’s result, then tomorrow’s double header against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders should cheer them right up. 

Originally, game one was set-up for this Monday, but a torrential downpour that seemingly hit the entire state sent the slightly damp team back to Mequon. 

Game one will tip off tomorrow at 5:05 with Sam Lund on the hill and game two, which is tentatively scheduled for 7:05 in a perfect world, will feature Austin Havecost in his first start of the season. 

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.