Missed Opportunities Upend Chinooks in Loss to Madison
Madison, WI—Yesterday, missed opportunities in Kenosha didn't cost the Chinooks the game thanks to an excellent start from Austin Jones and some Kingfish defensive lapses, but tonight, the 11 men the Chinooks left on base were the difference in a 9-4 loss to the Madison Mallards.
Luke Sommerfeld got the start tonight for the Chinooks, his fourth of the season, was a spot start in place of the originally slated Cyrillo Watson.
Sommerfeld got into trouble early after a leadoff walk to Cole Daily followed by a Tommy Bullock RBI double and Sam Armstrong RBI groundout put the Mallards up 2-0 after the first inning.
After two quick outs in the second, It looked like Sommerfeld would settle down, but Cade Bunnell caught a fastball and drove it deep over the right field fence to give the Mallards a 3-0 lead.
The Chinooks were able to give Sommerfeld some run support in the top of the fourth. A Matthew Mika lead-off single and Brian Sobieski hit by pitch set runners up on first and second for Jack Dunn, and Dunn came through with a RBI single to left field to make it 3-1 Mallards.
Sommerfeld was able to put up a zero in the third but ran into more trouble in the fourth off the bat of Armstrong. The Mallard clean-up hitter launched a lead-off double that banged up against the center-field wall and came into score on a David Vinsky RBI groundout to give the Mallards a 4-1 lead.
The Chinooks tacked on one more in the top of the 5th. After loading the bases and forcing Mallards starter, Tristan Bayless, out of the game, Rylan Thomas rolled over on one, but beat out what looked to be a sure-fire double play ball and allowed Connor Kimple to come home to score. That made it 4-2 Madison, but after having the bases loaded with one out, they luckily avoided a larger disaster
Sommerfeld saw his day end in the 5th as well. His final line was 4.2 innings pitched, six hits, four runs, and two walks. It could’ve been worse, but Zack Jones got Armstrong to fly out with two on and two out to end the Mallard rally and keep the score 4-2.
The Chinooks struck again in the top of the 6th. With two out and a 0-2 count against him, Drake Lubin fought back against Mallard reliever David Stover—a funky reliever who features interchangeable submarine and over-the-top arm slots—to fill the count at 3-2 then chopped a grounder up the middle for a RBI single.
But, Jones would get into some trouble of his own in the sixth. A lead-off single by Vinsky followed by an Andrew Baker double set runners up on second and third. Then, a wild pitch by Jones plated Vinsky and a Maverick Handley sac fly brought home Baker to make it 6-3 Mallards heading into the 7th.
The Chinooks made up some ground in the top of the seventh after a Tim DalPorto groundout drove in Mika, but the Mallards offense broke away in the bottom of the 7th and 8th to seal the deal.
The Mallards plated one in the seventh and two in the eighth off of Zack Engelken to increase their lead to 9-4 and make a ninth inning comeback impossible.
Despite a rough for Chinooks pitching, there were plenty of defensive highlights. Joe Duncan made a few fabulous running catches in left field, and Jack Dunn had a few leaping infield assists to his credit.
Regarding the playoff race, tonight wasn't a total loss. Kenosha fell to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters to stay one game back of the Chinooks, and Madison remains a half game back of the Chinooks.
The Chinooks welcome Madison into Mequon tomorrow at 5:05 for game two of the two-game home and home series. The slated starter for Lakeshore is Austin Havekost
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.