Broken Bat Grand Slam Lifts Chinooks Past Bullfrogs
Green Bay, WI—The Lakeshore Chinooks defeated the Green Bay Bullfrogs, 9-5 on Monday night. The win moved the Chinooks to 21-20 on the season and 3-3 in the second half.
Early on, the Chinooks offense didn't have much life. In fact, going into the seventh inning, they only had one run courtesy of a Jack Dunn RBI groundout and found themselves down 5-1.
But, there’s something magic about the Chinooks offense when they play in Green Bay.
June 25th, the last time they were in Green Bay, they found themselves down 9-7 heading into the ninth inning but produced an eight-run bombshell that gave them an impressive 15-9 comeback win.
This time wasn't much different. In the seventh, Rylan Thomas started a string of three dingers in the next three innings with a long, two-run shot to deep left field that made it 5-3 Bullfrogs.
The eighth is where the magic happened. Matthew Mika, pinch-hitting for Jack Dunn doubled to lead things off, and after a single and a walk by Connor Kimple, was driven home by Matt Burch after he laced a single to centerfield to make it 5-4 Bullfrogs.
Then, Nick Gatewood, on a swing that broke his bat, somehow hit a grand slam over the left field fence to make it 8-5 Chinooks.
I’m the best there is” Gatewood said postgame, in an impersonation of Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights. “We’re just never gonna lose, even when we’re down in the first half, we’re never gonna lose.”
In the ninth, Joe Duncan sent the Chinooks third homer of the night over the left-field fence with a solo shot to make it 9-5 Lakeshore.
It was only appropriate that the Chinooks offense displayed this type of power surge on the night of the Home Run Derby, and even though they weren't Aaron Judge moonshots, they sent the Bullfrogs home hopping mad.
On the other side of the ball, Zach Spears ha 4.1 solid innings. The 6 foot 7-inch lefty gave up 5 hits, 3 earned and struck out five.
In his relief, Chinook newcomer, Takota Metoxen, got his first work of the season. The former Battle Creek Bomber, went one inning and gave up two runs.
“It felt good, it feels good to be with the new team,” Metoxen said. “It’s not that weird (switching teams) I really liked the guys over there, but coming here, it’s closer to home and I know a couple of guys on the team.”
The winning pitcher was Byron Hood, who came into the game with a 40.5 ERA and an ERA- of 898 but threw a flawless, 1-2-3 seventh inning that brought his ERA down to 23.15.
To close things out, Joe Heineman, in a bounce-back effort from last time when he surrendered a three-run, game-tying homer, tossed two scoreless innings while only giving up one hit and striking out four.
The Chinooks are back in action tomorrow as they welcome the Wisconsin Woodchucks into town for a two-game series. The slated starter is Cole Gnetz who, in nine appearances this season, has a 3.48 ERA. He’s yet to make a start.
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 180 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.