Kenosha, WI – On Wednesday, a nine-run ninth inning lifted the Lakeshore Chinooks to their first victory of the 2018 season. In nine innings against the Kenosha Kingfish on Thursday evening, Lakeshore was unable to plate a single run in a 1-0 loss.
Aside from scoring nine runs during the single-inning outburst in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, the Chinooks have scored just seven runs in 26 innings this season. Against the Kingfish, Lakeshore did not lack scoring opportunities, however.
The Chinooks had multiple baserunners on in six separate innings against Kenosha, and twice loaded the bases. But without a single hit with runners in scoring position, four Kingfish pitchers combined to shutout Lakeshore (1-2). Kenosha improves to 2-0 on the season.
Kenosha’s pitching staff was able to weave in and out of trouble thanks to 12 strikeouts, a season-high for Lakeshore’s offense. The Chinooks gathered six singles, and drew six walks and two hit batsmen, but the station-to-station approach stalled when it mattered the most and Lakeshore ultimately left 14 runners stranded.
The missed opportunities on offense overshadowed a superb performance from starting pitcher Kevin Tibor. Pitching in his hometown, Tibor hurled six solid innings and allowed a single unearned run. Kenosha scored the game’s lone run when Chinooks shortstop Jake Thompson’s throw to first base in the third inning skipped in the dirt and got away from first baseman Web Charles. That allowed a runner to score from second. Tibor shut the door on Kenosha’s rally by striking out the side in the inning.
Despite losing two of three games on their season-opening road trip, the Chinooks have enjoyed solid pitching to begin the season. Their three starting pitchers have allowed just two earned runs in 18 innings pitched. Since allowing four runs in an eighth inning implosion on opening night, Lakeshore’s bullpen has strung together eight consecutive scoreless innings.
Amid the frustrations on offense, a few Chinooks have gotten off to solid starts at the plate. Outfielder Connor Kimple was on base twice in the loss and has reached base safely in all three games to begin the season. Infielder Takahiro Yamada was on base three times, and has hit safely in each of the team’s three games. Outfielder DJ Lee reached base twice, has a three-game hitting streak, and stole his second base of the year. Outfielder Cole Turney, who hit a home run in the team’s win on Wednesday, pinch-hit in the ninth inning on Thursday and singled to keep Lakeshore’s chances alive. And utilityman Alex Stevenson, who pitched in relief on Tuesday, has appeared in Lakeshore’s lineup the following two games.
Both teams will take a short trip north to Mequon for the Chinooks’ home opener at Kapco Park on Friday night. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. CST.