By Deann Davidson
Traverse City, MI – The Chinooks traveled to Traverse City to take on the Pit Spitters in a two-game series and dropped the first game with a final score of 8-4.
Bailey Vuylsteke took the mound for Lakeshore, the lefty out of Miami-Ohio while the Pit Spitters started Andrew Hoffman, the right-hander of Oakland University.
In the first inning, each team got a runner on base, but they would not advance further than first. In the second, Lakeshore failed to take advantage of one-out walk. In the bottom of the inning, the leadoff man reached on an infield single and was advanced to third with a one-out single. A walk issued to the following batter, Drake Titus, loaded the bases. A consecutive walk to Adam Proctor scored Andrew Myer to give Traverse City a one-run lead. Daniel Head reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Arnold and the Pit Spitters were ahead of the Chinooks by two going into the third inning.
Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fourth inning. Ryan Schmit relieved Bailey Vuylsteke and gave up back-to-back singles. The runners advanced to second and third after Proctor got out at first. A sacrifice fly to centerfielder, David Dunn, from Head scored Jake Arnold and Lakeshore was down by three.
In the fifth, the Chinooks created traffic on the bases. Troy Black, leading off the inning, reached on an error by the shortstop and advanced to second on a single to right from Daryl Myers. Dunn singled to left field and the bases were loaded with no outs. Jake Artz hit a sacrifice fly to right field and Black scored. Mike Trautwein stepped up to the plate and flew out to left for the second out of the inning. Nathan Aid singled to right field and Myers scored to make it 3-2. Jake Thompson delivered for the Chinooks and ripped a ball to center for a two-out double, tying the game at three.
The tie didn’t last long and in the bottom of the inning, the Pitspitters first batter of the inning doubled to right and after a single to center, Traverse City had runners on the corners. Andrew Morrow put the ball in play and was out at first, but Mario Camilletti scored and the Pit Spitters were ahead by one. With Arnold batting, the runners advanced on a wild pitch and Hudson Byorick scored on an RBI-double by Arnold.
In the sixth, Lakeshore threated after reliever Garett Simmons came into the game and walked Griffin Doersching and Ronnie Sweeny III consecutively. Neither would score as the top of the sixth ended with a Dunn popout to second base. Traverse City added to their lead in the sixth. With two outs, Schmit gave up back-to-back walks to Riley Bertram and Camilletti. Bertram scored on an RBI-single from Byorick and Traverse city had runners on first and second with two outs and led 6-3. Morrow followed with a 2-RBI double to increase the Pit Spitters’ lead to 8-3. Jake Wilson would advance on a walk, but the inning ended on a popout to first without any more damage done.
In the seventh, the Chinooks failed to score. Jarod Large relieved Schmit and faced the minimum. In the top of the eighth inning, Thompson led off with a double to right field, but would be stranded at second as the next three batters failed to get on base. The Chinooks kept the Pit Spitters from scoring and Lakeshore had three outs to overcome the 5-run deficit. Myers, the first batter of the inning, reached on a dropped third strike, but was out at second while Dunn reached on a fielder’s choice. After a single from Artz, there were runners at first and second with one out for Trautwein who hit into another fielder’s choice, Artz being out at second, leaving runners at the corners. Aide reached on a error by the second baseman and Dunn scored to make it 8-4 but Thompson was out at first to end the game.
This loss brings Chinooks to 16-21 on the season and the second game in this series is at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow night.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 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.