Mequon, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (4-3) defeated the Wisconsin Woodchucks 9-4 on Tuesday night, as the Chinooks won their second straight game and hit a grand slam for the second time in as many games.
The scoring took off in the bottom of the 2nd inning, as the Chinooks piled up a whopping nine runs in the inning. After Owen Miller (Illinois State) walked and later advanced to third base, Tim DalPorto (Kent State) tapped a ball back to the mound, but the pitcher, Kellen Rholl, couldn’t field it cleanly and Miller was able to score on the play. Drake Lubin (Eastern Michigan) then singled, plating Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas), who singled earlier in the inning. After Matthew Mika (Central Florida) singled, the bases were loaded for Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois).
Duncan did not disappoint, as he smacked a ball over the left-field fence, bringing home Mika, DalPorto, and Lubin. The grand slam put four more on the board for Lakeshore, as the Chinooks led 6-0. Nick Gatewood (Georgia State) later hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line, which was followed up by a Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) RBI single. A Tim DalPorto RBI groundout later plated Thomas from third base, then with the bases loaded, Drake Lubin walked. The walk scored Owen Miller, and plated the ninth and final run of the inning for Lakeshore.
The Chinooks scored nine runs for a second straight game, as the offense continues to impress. With six players in the Lakeshore lineup batting over .300 on the season, it’s not hard to see why this team leads the Northwoods League in average.
The Woodchucks made things interesting in the bottom of the 5th, scoring four runs in total. With the bases loaded, Stevie Mangrum walked, bringing home Trey Dawson. Brylie Ware then singled with the bases juiced, plating Tristan Clarke and Ivan Nunez, as Wisconsin cut even more into the Chinooks’ lead. Logan Foster then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Stevie Mangrum, giving the Woodchucks their fourth and final run of the game.
The Chinooks got 4.1 solid innings out of Cole Gnetz (Miami-Ohio), who allowed four runs on two hits, while walking six and striking out none. Gnetz, making his first start of the season, also took a no-hitter into the 5th inning, but Wisconsin was able to charge Gnetz with four runs in the inning.
Lakeshore also got 4.2 innings of shutout baseball from the bullpen, as a combination of Alex McIntosh (UW-Milwaukee) and Parker Sanburn (Des Moines Area CC) allowed just two hits, while walking one and striking out three.
Chinooks’ outfielder, Joe Duncan, continued his recent hot streak Tuesday night, hitting a grand slam. The round-tripper was Duncan’s third home run of the season, and made it back-to-back games with a homer for Duncan. Over his last seven games, Duncan has hit safely in every game, batting an incredible .400 (12-30).
When asked about the grand slam, Duncan said, “It felt great. I’m seeing it [the ball] well right now, which is always good. For a while I wasn’t seeing the ball well, but baseball is all about getting in a flow. When things are going good, it’s easy to get hits because you have a lot of confidence, and when it’s not going good, it’s hard because you don’t have confidence.
Duncan also said about the offense, “Hitting is very contagious, and with this lineup, anyone at any time can do some damage, which is exciting and it’s fun to play with.”
The Lakeshore Chinooks (4-3) will stay at Kapco Park again Wednesday night as Lakeshore looks to sweep the two-game series against the Woodchucks.
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.