Chinooks Jump Out to Early Lead, Beat Woodchucks 7-5
Mequon, WI- The Lakeshore Chinooks (18-13) beat the Wisconsin Woodchucks 7-5 Monday night, as Lakeshore got back-to-back homers out of Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) and Matthew Mika (Central Florida) and a strong outing from starter, Aaron Winkler (Richmond).
The Chinooks poured it on in the bottom of the 1st with four straight hits to lead off the inning for Lakeshore. After Jack Dunn (Northwestern) led off the inning with a single, Joe Duncan obliterated a ball to left field, giving the Chinooks a very early 2-0 lead. Duncan’s home run was his sixth of the season and his fourth of the summer against the Woodchucks.
Matthew Mika was the next man up for Lakeshore, launching a ball over the left-field fence for his fifth homer of the season. The back-to-back long balls for the Chinooks gave the home team a 3-0 advantage, followed up by a Rylan Thomas (Central Florida) single, as Lakeshore pounded out four hits without Wisconsin recording an out.
The Chinooks tacked on a run in the bottom of the 4th inning on a grounder hit to the shortstop, coming off the bat of Charley Hesse (North Dakota State). The slow grounder allowed the Woodchucks to get the force at second base, but couldn’t turn the double play. As a result, Tim DalPorto (Kent State) raced home to give Lakeshore a commanding 4-0 lead.
Things got interesting in the top of the 5th, as Wisconsin’s Hunter Coleman, who was yet to hit a home run over the summer, launched a moonshot home run over the left-field patio, as Adonis Lao and Michael Ferri crossed the plate, and the Woodchucks trailed by just a run.
Matthew Mika improved on his already impressive day at the plate in the bottom of the 5th, smashing a double over the head of the right fielder that originally hadn’t driven in any runs, but on the throw back into the infield, Wisconsin’s second baseman couldn’t field the throw, allowing Joe Duncan to score.
Later in the inning, Rylan Thomas attempted to steal second base and was successful, but more importantly, Mika came home to score on what was his second steal of home on the season. The run from the Central Florida speedster gave Lakeshore a 6-3 lead. Drake Lubin (Eastern Illinois) added an insurance run later in the inning, as he singled home Thomas and gave Lakeshore a four-run lead.
The Woodchucks got within two of the Chinooks, but dug too deep of a hole to climb out. Wisconsin tacked on a run in the bottom of the 7th on a Logan Foster RBI double and another run in the 8th on a Jordan Santos RBI single, but the comeback fell short, as Lakeshore came out on top, 7-5.
Chinooks’ Aaron Winkler earned his second victory of the season, as he went 6.2 innings, surrendering four runs on nine hits, to go along with a pair of walks and four strikeouts.
To lock things up in the top of the 9th for Lakeshore, Joe Heineman (Baylor) jogged out of the bullpen as he looked for his second save in as many nights. Heineman worked around a couple of baserunners to secure the win and his fourth save of the season.
The Lakeshore Chinooks (18-13) will take a day off Tuesday before returning home to face the Wisconsin Woodchucks on Wednesday night, with Alec Marsh looking to continue his hot steak and get the playoff-hunting Chinooks a sweep of 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.