Green Bay, WI—Thursday night’s game in Green Bay started out great for the Chinooks. Through six innings, Austin Jones had only allowed one hit, struck out four, and the offense backed with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Sebastian Holte-Mancera sac fly.
Then, the seventh inning happened.
Blaise Maris led things off for the Bullfrogs with a double into the right-field gap. Jones shrugged his shoulders and mouthed to himself “no big deal.” He was right, it was only the second hit he surrendered all night. There was no cause for concern.
But similar to Jones’ last start, the Chinooks home opener against the Kenosha Kingfish where he cruised through three perfect before surrendering six earned runs, what started out as no big deal quickly became a disaster.
He walked the next two batters and Travis Akre made the call to the bullpen.
Jones walked back to the dugout with his face in his glove for the second consecutive start, and all he could do was watch and hope Nick Campe could get him out of the jam.
At first, it looked like Campe would save him. He got Collin Luty and Ethan Ibarra swinging and had the number nine hitter Austin Bates down 1-2.
The next pitch, a fastball on the outside corner, Campe thought he had for strike three. He hopped off the mound, but the umpire didn’t ring him up.
One pitch later, Bates blooped a slider into left field for a two-RBI single. Four singles later, and one more pitching change, and the Chinooks were staring at a crooked six on the scoreboard. After a night of dominance, it was 6-1 Bullfrogs.
Jones’ final line, 6 innings, 3 earned, 2 hits, 3 BB, 4 K.
It’s far from the first time the Chinooks have seen an inning go horribly wrong.
Kenosha hung six and five-run innings in the same game on June 1st, and Rockford scored 7 in the 6th the next day.
Disastrous innings have killed this club all season, and like the last two times, the offensive momentum never returned after the opposing outbursts.
Outside of a Takahiro Yamada single in the top of the ninth, which was aided by a bad hop off a nasty lip, the Chinooks were set down in order to end the game.
But more than the unfortunate ending on the mound, it was the offense that dropped the ball during the 6-1 defeat.
Green Bay entered the game with the worst ERA in the league, 6.00. And Green Bay’s ballpark, Joannes stadium, grades as the second most hitter-friendly in the South Division. It was a recipe for a big day for a team that sports the league’s 6th highest On Base Percentage.
Instead, they spread four singles out through three innings and provided minimal threat to Bullfrog starter Jason Applegate, who finished his day with six strong innings, one earned run, 3 hits and five strikeouts.
The bullpen, Brandon Curtiss and Taylor Rosas, finished things up with three innings of one-hit, shutout ball.
Tomorrow, the Chinooks return home to face the Rockford Rivets, who come into Kapco off a 7-2 win over the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders in Rockford.
The Rivets, currently second in the South Division with a 6-4 record, will send Garrett Goetz to the mound to face the Chinooks Brendan McGuigan.
For fans in attendance last Saturday, it should feel like Deja vu. Goetz and McGuigan battled to a one-one tie before the Chinooks Kyle Schmidtt allowed six runs in the sixth inning to propel Rockford to the 8-1 win.
First pitch tomorrow is at 6:35.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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.