Chinooks Unable to Comeback Against Woodchucks
By Deann Davidson
Mequon, WI – Lakeshore returned home to host the Wisconsin Woodchucks in a two-game series after defeating the first place Wisconsin Rapids Rafters the night before with a final score of 8-2. The Chinooks fell to the Wisconsin Woodchucks with a final score of 9-4.
Cole Wilson took the mound for Lakeshore in his first appearance of the Northwoods League season. Wilson is a righthanded pitcher out of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Woodchucks sent Jose Varela to the rubber who has a 5.77 ERA in 43 and one-third innings this season. Varela has tallied 28 strikeouts and 27 walks on the season.
The Woodchucks got to Wilson early in the game with a leadoff home run from TJ Reeves in the first. Wilson then gave up two singles and put runners at first and second with one out. A walk to Cameron Swanger loaded the bases for Kaeber Rog who hit it to deep right field but a stellar catch from Mike Trautwein allowed only one run to score on the sacrifice fly. Runners were at the corners for Payton Nelson who singled into right to bring a third run across the plate. Lakeshore attempted to close the gap early after a one-out walk to Cole Barr followed by a single by Thompson that advanced Barr to third. On a wild pitch with Daryl Myers batting, Barr scored and Thompson took second. Myers and Griffin Doersching walked to load the bases with one out. Nathan Aide came to the plate and grounded into a fielder’s choice that got Doersching at second but brought Thompson home to make it 3-2. The inning ended when Aide was caught attempting to steal second.
With one out in the second inning, Reeves blasted another home run to left centerfield to give the Woodchucks a two-run lead over the Chinooks. In the bottom of the inning, Troy Black answered with a leadoff home run to right field and Lakeshore only trailed by one. Justin Olson worked a walk, but was stranded after three flyouts in a row by the Chinooks.
Wilson threw his first scoreless inning in the third. Wilson got the leadoff batter to fly out to right before walking Rog and giving up a single to Nelson to put runners at first and second. After a flyout, Wilson walked Alejandro Gonzalez to load the bases. Wilson got out of the jam by striking out Reeves. The Chinooks failed to capitalize on a two-out walk to Doersching when Aide grounded into a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the inning.
Neither team scored in the fourth, but Wisconsin increased their lead in the top of the fifth. Swanger reached first on a drop third strike and a single by Rog put runners at second and third after an error by Myers at shortstop. Two more doubles drove in runs for the Woodchucks and Wisconsin led 8-3 when Wilson was relieved by Bailey Vuylsteke who got out of the inning without another run scoring.
The game was postponed at the middle of the fifth due to lightning in the area and was finished at 11am Sunday morning. In the top of the fifth, Nick Vanderhoef came in to pitch for the Woodchucks and gave up a leadoff walk to Thompson. Myers singled past second to put runners at first and second and Doersching followed with a single to load the bases with no outs. Aide stepped into the box and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Thompson scored on the play to make it 8-4. Black walked to put runners at the corners but a flyout ended the Chinooks’ scoring opportunity.
Neither team was able to score in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. In the top of the ninth, Rog singled into left field with two outs and Nelson followed with a grounder that slipped past Barr at second and brought Rog to third. Alec Arnone drove in a run on a single to left field to tack on another run for the Woodchucks. The Chinooks went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Wilson took the loss for the Chinooks after giving up five earned runs on ten hits in four innings. This loss brings Lakeshore to 15-14 in the second half the season and they trail the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters by 4 games for first. The second game of the Sunday double-header starts at 1:35pm at Kapco Park.
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.