Mequon, WI—The Lakeshore Chinooks defeated the Battle Creek Bombers, 12-6, on Wednesday night. The win moved the Chinooks to 11-12 on the season—7.5 games back of the first place Wisconsin Rapids Rafters—and extended their winning streak to three games.
After a doubleheader with Kenosha on Tuesday that featured multiple impressive pitching performances, this game was all about offense, and things got going right out of the gate.
In the top of the first inning, Battle Creek first-baseman Tim Stoffel jumped all over a first-pitch fastball from Luke Sommerfeld and drove it down the left-field line for a two-out double. Then, clean-up man, Jake Getzelman, after fighting off a few tough pitches, knocked Stoffel home with a rocket triple over the head Chinook center fielder, Drake Lubin.
It didn't take long for the Chinooks to answer. In the bottom of the first, Caleb Dean, who’s a combined 7-14 in his last four games, lead off with a walk, Matthew Mika followed with a single, and Rylan Thomas, who finished the day with 5 RBI and a Northwoods League player of the night nomination, knocked home Dean to get the Chinooks on the board.
“I wouldn't say [I’m unstoppable],” Thomas said. “But, I feel good right now. I’ve got a couple games under my belt, starting seeing some pitches.”
Then, with one out, birthday boy, Jacob Richardson, blasted a double down the line for two RBI and a 3-1 Chinooks lead after one inning.
“It’s always good to get a couple hits, especially knowing it’s a big day and I hadn't been playing my best,” Richardson said. “It’s a good day all the way around to get back rolling.”
As for birthday plans, Richardson said he was going to keep it simple, “Go home, eat some supper, call my mom and girlfriend, and watch some MLBTV.”
However, that Richardson aided lead vanished almost as soon as they got it. In the top of the second, Battle Creek tabbed Sommerfeld for three more after an Alec Trela solo homer and Stoffel two-RBI single made it 4-3 Bombers after two innings.
The scoring took a break until the bottom of the fourth, but for the Chinook offense, that’s the last break it would take for the rest of the game. From the 4th to the 8th, they produced four, two-run innings and nine total runs.
In the fourth, a Rylan Thomas groundout and Nick Gatewood sacrifice fly plated the runs.
In the fifth, a leadoff double by Nick Cheema and a single by Jack Dunn were brought around by a Lubin two-RBI single.
In the sixth, a Jack Dunn single knocked home TJ Raguse and Lubin collected his third RBI with a fielder’s choice.
In the seventh, Rylan Thomas, in a six-pitch at-bat, walloped his first homer of the season—a two, run shot— well over the left field fence.
Finally, in the eighth, Thomas earned his fifth RBI after his single drove home Mika.
On the other side of the ball, Chinook pitching settled down after the second, only allowing two runs the rest of the game, and reliever Joe Heineman was especially dominant. In his three innings, the crafty righty struck out seven and caused Bomber hitters to whiff 11 times.
“I’m not a bit velocity guy, so it’s big for me to have my off-speed working,” Heinemann said.
An interesting note from the night, the Chinooks stole seven total bases— 3 from Mika, 3 from Lubin and one from Richardson—which was a third of their season total, 21, going into the game.
The Chinooks battle the Bombers again on Tuesday night. Zach Spears will take the hill against Andrew Click with first pitch at 6:35!
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.