Mequon, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (1-2) fell to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, 3-2, on Friday night. Rafters’ starter, Quinn DiPasquale, stymied the Chinooks, allowing just two runs (one earned) over seven strong innings.
The Rafters would jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st, thanks to an RBI single from Dustin Woodcock. Bryson Stott walked earlier in the inning, eventually advancing to 3rd on a wild pick-off attempt at 1st base that went all the way down the right field line. Stott later came around to score on the Dustin Woodcock base knock.
In the top of the 3rd inning, Ryan Stekl hit a grounder to 3rd, but a poor throw to 1st from Jack Dunn (Northwestern) allowed Bryson Stott to score all the way from 1st base. The Stott run pushed the Rafters’ lead up to 2, as Wisconsin Rapids took the 2-0 advantage.
During the bottom of the 4th inning, the rain blew in and caused both teams to leave the field. Not only did it start pouring rain, but the lightning also made an appearance. The weather delay ended up lasting 41 minutes as play resumed in the bottom of the 4th with Nick Gatewood (Georgia State) at the plate.
The top of the 5th got a little sticky for Lakeshore as Peter Bovenzi (Richmond), who was fresh into the game, loaded up the bases and was later pulled for Nick Campe (Olivet Nazarene). Campe was thrown into a bases-loaded no-out jam, and got Josh Rehwaldt to ground into a double play. Bryson Stott later scored his third run of the game on a Campe wild pitch that got all the way to the backstop.
Lakeshore had a golden opportunity in the bottom half of the 5th as the bases were full of Chinooks, setting the stage for Matthew Mika (Central Florida). Mika grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Daniel DeSimone was able to score after he led off the inning with a single. The DeSimone run cut the Rafters’ lead to just two.
The Chinooks would tack on another run in the bottom of the 6th after a passed ball got all the way to the backstop. Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) came home to score after he led off the inning with a single, and Lakeshore trailed by just a run.
Cameron Busby entered in the bottom of the 9th for the Rafters as he looked to secure the 3-2 lead. Busby ran into some trouble, but ended up striking out Matthew Mika for the final out of the game, as the Rafters beat the Chinooks, 3-2.
Chinooks’ outfielder, Joe Duncan, went 2-4 with a run scored in the game, and has collected 2 hits in each of his last three games. Duncan said after the game, “hitting is all about confidence. Whenever you’re in a slump, it’s tough to hit, but whenever you’re seeing it well, it’s a nice process to be in because you have a lot of confidence and that’s what baseball is about. You just have to understand you’re going to go through slumps and you’re going to go through hot streaks.”
Duncan also said his approach at the plate hasn’t really changed over his recent hot streak. “I’ve just been trying to see it [the ball] a little deeper, which has helped me not be out in front as much. Just the little things like that, but for the most part, the approach stays the same and the swing stays the same.”
The Lakeshore Chinooks (1-2) stay at home Saturday night to take on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters again at Kapco Park as Cyrillo Watson (Illinois) gets the call to try and split the 2-game series.
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.