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Chinooks Fall to Rockford, 3-2; Drop to 16-16 On Season

 

Rockford, IL- The Lakeshore Chinooks fell to the Rockford Rivets, 3-2 on Friday night. The loss dropped the Chinooks to 16-16 on the season and snapped their four-game winning streak. 

Similar to last night, Saturday featured two dominant starting pitchers at their best. The Chinooks starting pitcher, Cyrillo Watson, tossed six incredible innings of shutout baseball and even flirted with a no-hitter before exciting. His only negative was three walks, but none of those came back to haunt him in any department besides pitch count. 

When Watson exited, the Chinooks held a 2-0 lead off the back of another hot start by the offense. 

In the top of the first, Matthew Mika slapped a single into left field on a 1-1 pitch, and as all pitchers in the Northwoods League have quickly realized, Mika is a real problem on the base-paths. 

The speedster from UCF quickly stole second, and in a sheer moment of base-running brilliance, scored on a high-hopping Joe Duncan groundout to shortstop. Even though Rivet fans were upset with what they viewed as a defensive lapse, many could appreciate what they saw out of their rival team.

Further, this was the second day that Mika, in essence, scored a run by himself. On Friday, he led off with a single, stole second and third on the next two pitches, and was brought in by a Duncan groundout. It seems the Chinooks have figured out a first inning formula. 

The second Chinook run came in the top of the sixth, and it was much simpler. Chinook right fielder, Connor Kimple, stepped in and launched his first homer of the summer high over the left field wall. 

Kimple, who’s known as a singles and doubles guy throughout his career—during his senior year at Marquette University High School he hit .414 with 12 doubles and only 2 homers—discovered some hidden power on that swing. Maybe, we’ll see a shift in the approach of the 6 foot 3 inch, 196-pound righty. 

Also, with that homer, Kimple continued his hot streak through the team’s last five games. He’s now 3 for his last 8 with a HR. 

Everything was rolling for the Chinooks until the bottom of the 7th, that’s when struggles from Alec Marsh opened the flood gates and allowed the Rivets to push across three runs and take a 3-2 lead. 

The inning started off with Marsh plunking a batter, then letting up a double, run-scoring dropped third strike, RBI single, and go-ahead RBI double. 

Those three were all the runs the Rivets needed to fasten together a win and set up a celebratory fireworks show. 

The Chinooks, though disappointed, will get a chance to take Rockford down a peg when the two meet at Kapco tomorrow. First pitch is at 1:35 and Tyler Jandron will make his third start of the summer. 

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.