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Chinooks Top Dock Spiders in First Game After All-Star Break

 

Mequon, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (8-5) defeated the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, 9-3, Thursday night, as Matthew Mika and Cole Gnetz helped lead the Chinooks to victory in the first game after the all-star break.

Matthew Mika (Central Florida) picked up right where he left off before the all-star break, as he led off the game for the Chinooks with a double in the bottom of the 1st. Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) then doubled home Mika, as Lakeshore jumped out to the early 1-0 lead.

Matthew Mika was not done, as he went yard for his third time of the season in the bottom of the 2nd. The home run was a grand slam, bringing home Tim DalPorto (Kent State), Connor Kimple (Oklahoma State), and Drake Lubin (Eastern Michigan), giving the Chinooks a commanding 5-0 lead.

Later in the inning, Caleb Dean (Lamar) singled home Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois), as the Chinooks took the 6-0 lead. Spiders’ starter, Ryan Connolly, couldn’t make it out of the 2nd inning, as the Chinooks plated five in the inning.

Fond du Lac got on the board for the first time in the top of the 3rd, thanks to a costly error from Joe Duncan. K.V. Edwards skied a ball to left field, but Duncan couldn’t complete the catch, as Edwards made it all the way to third base on a three-base error. Edwards later came home to score on a Thomas Luevano RBI groundout, as the Spiders then trailed 6-1.

Eric Gilgenbach connected for his eighth long ball of the summer, as he led off the top of the 5th for Fond du Lac with a solo home run to cut the Chinooks’ lead to four.

The Spiders tacked on another run in the top of the 7th, as Eric Gilgenbach picked up his second RBI of the game. After Andrew Bullock led off the inning with a single, Gilgenbach later hit a sacrifice fly, plating Bullock.

The Chinooks put up their seventh run of night in the bottom half of the 7th inning, as Tim DalPorto knocked in Caleb Dean with a sacrifice fly of his own.

In the bottom of the 8th, Lakeshore tacked on another two runs, thanks to some sloppy play from Fond du Lac. With Joe Duncan attempting to steal 2nd base, Spiders’ catcher, Nick Fortes, made a wild throw that got into center field that allowed Matthew Mika to come home and score. Rylan Thomas later hit a line drive to the right-center gap that allowed Duncan to score, as Thomas rolled into 3rd with an RBI triple.

Joe Heineman (Baylor) came on in the top of the 9th to try and secure the Chinooks’ 9-3 lead, and did so successfully. Heineman retired the Spiders without allowing any runs, and Lakeshore went home with a win.

Chinooks’ starter, Cole Gnetz (Miami-Ohio), was very good in this game, allowing just three runs (two earned) over 6.1 innings, surrendering four hits and a walk, while striking out four. Gnetz also picked up his third win of the season, as he lowered his ERA to 4.28.

Matthew Mika was nothing short of spectacular in the game, going 3-5 with a grand slam. Not surprisingly, Mika was rewarded with Northwoods League Player of the Night honors following his performance.

After the game, Mika said about the grand slam, “I knew off the bat it was gone. It was a good feeling.”

When asked how he was able to carry over the momentum from the all-star break, Mika said, “Just going out there and doing what I do best, just having fun. When you’re having fun, you don’t think about anything, it’s just about enjoying the game and enjoying it with the team.”

Mika, representing the Chinooks in the Northwoods League All-Star Game, said about the experience, “I had a little bit of a break. I didn’t start, which was not too bad, but I came in, I had an opportunity and I got that done, so I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The Lakeshore Chinooks (8-5) will square off against the Dock Spiders again Friday night in Fond du Lac, as Alec Marsh (Arizona State) takes the ball with a chance to sweep the Spiders.

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.