Chinooks Win Fourth Straight, Top Mallards 8-4
Madison, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (6-3) won their fourth straight ballgame Thursday night, defeating the Madison Mallards, 8-4. The win for Lakeshore placed the team in a first-place tie with the Battle Creek Bombers.
The ball was certainly flying in this game, as three home runs were hit in the first two innings of the game. The Chinooks struck early, plating two runs in the top of the 1st. Matthew Mika (Central Florida) led off the game with a walk and later trotted home on a 2-run homer from Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) that was hammered over the left-center fence.
The Mallards didn’t take long to respond, as the first batter of the game for Madison, Cole Daily, hit a solo home run to give the Mallards their first run of the game. Sam Armstrong later singled home Doran Turchin, tying the game at two.
Jacob Richardson (Southern Arkansas) jumped on the home run train, as he dumped a ball over the left-field fence to give Lakeshore its third run of the game. The long-ball was the all-star third baseman’s third homer of the season.
The Chinooks tacked on another run in the top half of the 3rd inning, thanks to a Tim DalPorto (Kent State) sacrifice fly. The sac fly plated Rylan Thomas after he was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning, and the Chinooks took the 4-2 lead.
Rylan Thomas, already having a productive day at the plate, drove in his third run of the game in the top of the 6th. Matthew Mika, who led off the inning with a walk, eventually made it to third base and scored on the Thomas sacrifice fly, giving the Chinooks a 5-2 lead over Madison.
Doran Turchin launched a 2-run homer well over the left-field fence in the bottom half of the 6th to cut the Chinooks’ lead to just one. Zac Taylor was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning, and later came around to score on the 2-run moonshot from Turchin.
Lakeshore would add three more runs to its lead in the top of the 8th inning, thanks to some sloppy play from the Mallards. Owen Miller (Illinois State) chopped a ball to short, but a bad throw to 1st base got away and Nick Gatewood was able to score after he doubled earlier in the inning. Jacob Richardson then hit an RBI single, bringing home Rylan Thomas after he had earlier walked. A David Stover wild pitch then let Owen Miller come around to score, giving the Chinooks an 8-4 advantage.
Chinooks’ starter, Austin Jones (UW-Whitewater), limited the damage of the Mallards over 5.1 innings, as he surrendered just four runs on four hits, while walking only one and striking out seven.
After his start, Jones said, “It was fun. I felt pretty good in the beginning. I’m still struggling to get my arm endurance back, but that’s something that will hopefully come as it gets later in the summer, but it felt good. The command of my fastball wasn’t quite there, but I had command on my off-speed pitches.”
The recent surge of the Lakeshore offense continued Thursday night, and Jones was certainly pleased. “I’d be hard-pressed to find a better offense right now. Everybody, top to bottom, is swinging it pretty well. We’re a pretty deadly lineup top to bottom.”
The Lakeshore Chinooks (6-3) will face the Madison Mallards again Friday night at Kapco Park, as Lakeshore looks to sweep the 2-game series against the Mallards.
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.