Nine-Run Ninth Lifts Chinooks Past Growlers, 12-2
Kalamazoo, MI—Yesterday, the Chinooks underwent a late-inning collapse. Today, it was Kalamazoo that fell apart in a 12-2 Lakeshore win.
Heading into the top of the ninth and looking to hold their 3-2 lead, the Growlers Sam Springer got the first batter of the inning, Connor Christman, looking on strike three. But the next seven runners all reached base in what was a disastrous mixture of errors, hit by pitches and base hits that capped off a nine-run Chinook ninth.
It was a busy day on the base paths for the Chinooks’ offense, but no one was busier than Alex Stevenson.
The Eastern Illinois product produced a 4-5 day out of the nine hole and scored not once but twice in that nine-run ninth.
At the top of the lineup, DJ Lee, one of three Richmond Spiders on the roster, came through with another big day after a two-hit performance in last night’s loss. He collected three RBI when he launched a bases-clearing double in the ninth to put the game far out of reach.
Lee’s double silenced and even sent home most of the crowd left in attendance, which was largely made up of middle children on field trips for the Growlers’ education day, but the biggest silencer came in the fourth inning when Cole Turney clubbed the team’s first home run of the year.
Turney, an Arkansas freshman, was one of the top recruits in the nation heading into this season and was even selected by Cleveland in the 34th round of the 2017 MLB draft. After a rough go of it last night—he struck out in his first three at-bats—he came through big today with the home run and another RBI knock to finish 2-4.
On the mound, Nate Odhal (Gonzaga) didn’t have the same dominant stuff Heath Renz featured last night through seven shutout innings, but he worked his way through five, allowing four hits, walking three and punching out one.
But the most impressive pitching performance came from the middle relief duo of Brendan McGuigan and Jacob Lindemann. The pair retired nine straight and, combined with Odhal, retired 15 straight Growlers during the middle innings.
After the short stint in Michigan, the Chinooks head to Kenosha tomorrow for one game against the Kingfish at historic Simmons Field. First pitch is at 6:35. The Chinooks scheduled starter is Kevin Tibor.
Then, on Friday, the Chinooks finally make their 2018 home debut when they switch places with Kenosha and welcome them into Kapco Park. Austin Jones is slated to make the start.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.