Chinooks Trash Woodchucks, Remain Unbeaten in Second Half
Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks remained the hottest team in the Northwoods League with a 10-4 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks at Kapco Park on Saturday. The win is the Chinooks’ fourth in a row and ninth in their last 11 games. Lakeshore also remains undefeated (now 4-0) in the second half of the Northwoods season.
The Chinooks had to battle an early deficit but hit and rounded the bases from the first inning on, eventually overwhelming Wisconsin’s pitching staff. Lakeshore scored 10 runs on 10 hits, but their dominance on offense went beyond the simple box score. All night long, the Chinooks took extra bases when they had opportunities, moving up on wild pitches, fly balls, and staying aggressive on the basepaths.
Nate Odahl made his second consecutive start for Lakeshore against the Woodchucks. On July 1, he allowed just one run in five innings in a win against Wisconsin. In the top of the first inning Saturday, the Woodchucks had more success against Odahl than they did in five innings against the right-hander six days ago. Odahl walked two and allowed two hits in the first frame, including a two-run home run that got Wisconsin out to an early 2-0 lead before the Chinooks got a chance to dig into the batters box.
Lakeshore cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the first, when third baseman Griffin Dey’s RBI single into the right field corner scored left fielder Christian Boulware, who had walked, from second base. After Boulware crossed the plate, Dey was thrown out from right field attempting to stretch the hit into a double.
Odahl walked the bases loaded in the second inning but worked out of the jam with two strikeouts. In two innings, Odahl walked five and allowed eight of 13 Woodchucks he faced to reach base. Left-hander Marco Boricich entered the game from the Lakeshore bullpen to begin the third inning. Wisconsin extended its lead to 3-1 in the third, becoming the first team to score against Boricich this season.
The Chinooks matched the run in the bottom of the third, when first baseman Dallas Beaver’s RBI sacrifice fly to center field made it a 3-2 game. Lakeshore tied the game at three the next inning, when an errant pickoff attempt at first base with catcher Connor Christman at bat allowed second baseman Jim Govern to score the tying run from third base. Center fielder Andy Shadid moved to third base on the throwing error, and scored when Christman’s RBI single put Lakeshore ahead for the first time, 4-3.
Later in the inning, Boulware’s RBI fielder’s choice plated Christman and right fielder Turner Buis scored on a wild pitch and by the time the third out of the bottom of the fourth was recorded, four runs has crossed the plate for Lakeshore in the frame and the Chinooks led, 6-3.
Wisconsin tacked on another run against Boricich in the top of the fifth before right-hander Joe Gahm relieved Boricich with two outs in the inning. Lakeshore again responded in the bottom of the sixth with Boulware’s RBI sacrifice fly to right field. Later in the inning with the bases loaded and a full count with two outs, Dey gave the Chinooks a more comfortable cushion with a two-run single, driving in his second and third runs of the night.
Beaver added his second RBI of the night in the eighth inning with a two-out single to break the Chinooks into double digits with a 10-4 lead. Right-handers Joe Gahm and Nick Campe pitched the final 4 1/3 innings of the game and each kept the Woodchucks off the board.
The Chinooks continue their homestand with a two-game series against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Game one on Sunday begins at 5:05 p.m. at Kapco Park. Austin Jones is set to start on the mound for Lakeshore. In six starts this season, the right-hander is 1-3 with a 7.14 ERA. Jones is coming off of a no decision on Monday against the Kenosha Kingfish in which he allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings. In his only start against Wisconsin Rapids this season, Jones took a loss in a one-inning outing, allowing three runs and five of the eight batters he faced to reach base.
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.