Miller, Mika Lead Offensive Surge for Chinooks
Kalamazoo, MI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (18-16) put up 16 runs for a second straight game Monday night, beating the Kalamazoo Growlers 16-8 for Lakeshore’s seventh win in its last 10 games.
The birthday boy, Matthew Mika (Central Florida), led off the game with a solo home run, his first of the season, to put the Chinooks on top, 1-0.
In the top of the 2nd inning, Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State) doubled home Owen Miller (Illinois State) and Jack Dunn (Northwestern), giving the Chinooks a 3-0 advantage. Matthew Mika, already having a productive day at the plate, later singled home Kimple and Caleb Dean (Lamar), adding 2 more runs to Lakeshore’s lead.
Making just his 2nd start of the summer for the Chinooks, Owen Miller proved why he’s a fan favorite, hitting a 2-run home run in the top of the 3rd inning. On the homer, Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas) scored after a one-out double, adding two more runs to the scoreboard for Lakeshore.
After a one-out walk in the top of the 4th for Drake Lubin (Eastern Michigan), Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) delivered with a double, plating Lubin and giving the Chinooks an 8-0 lead. Nick Gatewood (Georgia State) then grounded out, allowing Thomas to score, giving Lakeshore a 9-0 lead over the Growlers.
Matthew Mika would collect his 3rd hit of the night in the top of the 5th with an RBI single. The single plated Owen Miller after he led off the inning with a single of his own. The RBI from Mika gave the Chinooks double-digit runs for a second straight game, as well as 4 RBI for the birthday boy.
Fresh into the ballgame, Daniel DeSimone (Oklahoma State) would mash a home run of his own in the top of the 6th inning. The leadoff home run from DeSimone was his 3rd long ball of the summer and the 11th run of the game for the Chinooks.
The Growlers would crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning, thanks to an Andrew Huff double that scored Jason Sullivan after he walked.
The Chinooks would add 4 more runs to an already 10-run lead in the top of the 7th inning. Drake Lubin started the scoring with an RBI double, scoring Caleb Dean. Nick Gatewood, coming off Northwoods League Player of the Night honors, singled home Matt Burch (Arkansas) after he singled earlier in the inning. After the bases were loaded up, Jacob Richardson walked, allowing Drake Lubin to come home. Owen Miller then hit a sacrifice fly, allowing Daniel DeSimone to score, giving Lakeshore a 15-1 lead.
Kalamazoo tacked on its second run of the game in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single from Jack Duffy. The base knock scored Kaleb Murphy after he singled earlier in the inning.
The Growlers added 2 more runs in the 8th inning, which was the only inning of the game that the Chinooks did not score. Matt Koehler singled, bringing home Andrew Huff after he led off the inning with a single. Koehler would later come around to score on a Christian Moya RBI single, giving Kalamazoo its fourth run of the game.
Owen Miller, needing a triple to complete the cycle, accomplished the feat in the top of the 9th inning. The triple scored Nick Gatewood after Gatewood’s one-out double earlier in the inning. The hit for Miller gave him a perfect 5-5 day at the plate, as well as 4 RBI for the game.
Things would get interesting in the bottom of the 9th, with the Growlers plating 4 runs. Chinooks’ reliever, Byron Hood (Nebraska) came on in the 9th to try and close out the game, but ended up walking 4 straight batters to lead off the inning. The 4th walk of the inning allowed Stephen Dubb to come home and plate the 5th run of the game for Kalamazoo. Charlie Carpenter later doubled with the bases loaded, scoring Jack Duffy and Jason Sullivan. Andrew Huff later scored on an RBI groundout from Ivan Estrella, giving the Growlers their 8th and final run of the game.
The Chinooks once again played an all-around solid game. The offense piled up 16 runs on 20 hits, with every player for Lakeshore recording at least one hit. Pitching wise, Austin Havekost (Kent State) pitched 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. Havekost walked just 1 batter and struck out 4.
The Chinooks had some standout performances from the offense once again. The birthday boy, Matthew Mika, went 3-4 with a home run and 4 RBI. Owen Miller was named the Northwoods League Player of the Night after hitting for the cycle. Miller also added 3 runs and 4 RBI.
The Lakeshore Chinooks (18-16) will stay in Kalamazoo to take on the Growlers again Tuesday night, as Zach Spears searches for a 4th of July victory.
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.