Wisconsin Rapids, WI—The Lakeshore Chinooks fell to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 6-2 on Sunday evening. The loss dropped the Chinooks to 31-28 on the season and 13-11 in the second half.
After last night’s offensive battle, tonight’s game was decided by errors. Two critical errors by Chinooks starter, Austin Havekost, and third baseman, Rylan Thomas in the 4th and 6th innings respectively allowed five runs to score and ultimately lost the Chinooks the game.
Also, credit goes to the Rafters pitching staff who bounced back nicely after seeing their ace, Quinn DiPasquale, get shelled by the potent Chinooks offense.
The Rafters, George Castillo went 5.2 innings, and even though he allowed nine hits, two walks and struck out nobody, only saw two Chinooks cross the plate. Then, Mason McReaken was fantastic out of the pen with 3.1 shutout innings to close the door and seal the win.
The Chinooks got off to an early lead in the top of the second inning when Drake Lubin knocked a RBI single to centerfield to drive in Jack Dunn.
In the bottom of the fourth, Wisconsin Rapids took their first lead of the game. After a leadoff walk to the Rafters’ Ryan Stekl, Chinooks starter Austin Havekost committed a costly error that allowed Dustin Woodcock to reach base and put runners at first and second.
The error would come back to bit Havekost with two outs and Scott Kapers at the plate. On a 1-1 count, Kapers lifted a double into left that brought home both Stekl and Woodcock and made it 2-1 Rafters after four.
The Chinooks tied things back up in the fifth via a Daniel DeSimone moonshot solo home run to left field.
But, the Rafters’ offense responded in a big way in the bottom of the sixth.
A Dustin Woodcock single, Jake Guenther walk, and Will Davis sac bunt put runners on second and third for Scott Kapers who nailed a grounder through the legs of Chinooks third baseman Rylan Thomas and plated both runs.
Then, with two outs, Charlie McConnell delivered a RBI single that scored Kapers and made it 5-2 Rafters after six innings.
Havekost exited after the 6th in what was another good start for the Kent State righty. Despite the 5-2 deficit, all five Rafters runs were unearned thanks to the two Chinook errors.
His final line was 6 IP, five hits, five runs, 0 earned runs, five walks, and four strikeouts.
Since becoming a starter, Havekost has gone six innings and allowed one or less earned run in each of his five starts. Between him and Alec Marsh, it’s hard to pick who's had a better stretch of innings.
The Rafters added one more in the 7th before things were over, Aidan Wojciehowski surrendered a sac fly to Woodcock to plate Byrson Stott.
Regarding the divisional race, the Chinooks are now four games back of the surging Rockford Rivets, and it seems the only way they can make the playoffs is through an at-large bid.
In each division, the first and second half division winners, plus the two teams with the best overall records make the playoffs. Currently, the Chinooks are tied with the Madison Mallards and one game back of the Kenosha Kingfish for the final playoff spot, so their chances of playing additional baseball this August are relatively high.
Tomorrow, the Chinooks return home to Mequon to face the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. Aaron Winkler gets the start for first pitch at 6:35.
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.