Wisconsin Rapids, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks’ second-half slide continued in a 7-3 loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on the road Friday night. The loss amounts to the second consecutive series Lakeshore has been swept and the Chinooks’ fourth straight defeat overall, who fall to 9-11 in the second half and in a tie for second to last place in the Northwoods League South Division. Lakeshore is just 2-9 in its last 11 games since beginning the second half 7-2.
Right-hander Kevin Tibor, the only Chinooks pitcher selected to the Northwoods League All-Star game, had his shortest start of the season, lasting only four innings. He allowed three runs and allowed eight hits, which ties his season-high. In his first seven starts of the season, Tibor allowed just seven earned runs in 50 innings pitched, good for a 1.26 earned run average. In his last two starts, he’s allowed nine runs in nine innings pitched and seen his ERA nearly double, to 2.44. Tibor’s last start against Wisconsin Rapids was July 9, when he pitched a complete game shutout against the Rafters.
Left-hander Kyle Huckaby and right-hander Mason Madalinski, making his Lakeshore debut, combined to pitch the final four innings for the Chinooks out of the bullpen and allowed four more runs on five hits. The Rafters finished with seven runs on 13 hits total. The Chinooks never led in the game and were blanked until the seventh inning, when they were already behind 4-0.
Takahiro Yamada and Jack Dunn hit back-to-back, two-out, run-scoring singles in the top of the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 4-2. But the Rafters got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning against Huckaby to extend their lead to 6-2. Lakeshore’s final run of the evening came in the top of the eighth inning on Zach Clayton’s RBI single.
The Chinooks, who finished outside of the playoff picture in the first half of the season, have little time left in the second half to make a move up the standings and into postseason contention. With 16 regular season games left on the schedule, Lakeshore sits 3.5 games out of first place in the South Division, but in second-to-last place, ahead of only the Rockford Rivets.
The Chinooks travel to Wausau for a two-game weekend series against the Woodchucks. First pitch Saturday is at 6:35 p.m. Austin Jones will make his team-leading tenth start of the season for Lakeshore, but his first against the Woodchucks this summer. In his last three starts, Jones has given up just two runs in 20 innings pitched.