Mequon, WI – Even though the Chinooks were able to jump out to five run first inning lead, the Kalamazoo Growlers quickly made a comeback and with a couple big innings later won 11-6.
Things looked good for the Chinooks after the first inning, as the five runs put Lakeshore in early control of the game. The first five batters reached base and later scored, with only one of those runs scoring on a hit. Walks and a couple of errors allowed the Chinooks to advance their baserunners and capitalize on the mistakes by Kalamazoo.
But the lead was short lived as the Growlers answered with five of their own in the second inning. Five straight hits allowed the first three runs to score before the fourth scored on a groundout. With two outs and a runner on third, a Nate Odahl wild pitch scored Jared Miller, tying the game at five apiece.
Odahl was only able to finish two innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. Due to the long second inning, Odahl was relieved as he threw over 35 pitches. Northwoods League rules dictate that a pitcher cannot start another inning after throwing at least 35 in the previous inning.
Kalamzoo has found success against Odahl this season, scoring 12 runs in only eight and two thirds innings. With the loss today, Odahl falls to 3-4 on the season and his ERA increases to 6.54.
The Growlers put up another crooked number in the fifth inning to break open the tie game. A couple of singles and an error by shortstop Jim Govern loaded the bases with no one out. Jared Miller singled to center off of Chinooks reliever Clayton Slifer scoring the first. On the same play, Chinooks center fielder Dominic Clementi made a wild throw to home plate allowing a second run to score. Slifer was then too slow trying to gather the errant ball and the third run came home on another wild throw. A bases clearing single and a couple more runs later in the inning gave the Growlers a 10-5 lead.
After giving up five in the fist, Growlers starter Tyler Drabick settled in and quieted the Chinooks offense, only allowing one more run over the next six innings. A throwing error by Growlers catcher Jonathan Foster allowed Zach Clayton to score in the seventh inning, shortening the lead to 10-6.
Kalamazoo added one more run in the eighth inning off of James Wright IV, extending the lead to 11-6 and continuing their dominating performance today. The Growlers scored 11 runs on 16 hits, and constantly had runners on base against Chinook pitching. Nick Campe and Joe Gahm were the only Chinooks pitchers to not allow a run in the game.
The Growlers would silence the Chinooks offense in the last two innings with the arm of Joe Boyle. Boyle, hitting an impressive 101 mph on the radar gun, blazed strikes past the Chinooks and struck out four Chinooks in his outing.
The Chinooks now head into the three day All-Star break and will resume play again on Thursday, July 26. Lakeshore will be on the road as they head to Wisconsin Rapids for a two game stretch against the Rapids. The first pitch on Thursday will be at 7:05 PM.
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.