By Kevin Mackey
Mequon, WI – After dropping two over the weekend to the Wisconsin Woodchucks, the Chinooks now find themselves 5 games out of first place and that coveted playoff spot. The Chinooks got a chance to play host to the red hot Traverse City Pit Spitters, who hold the best record in the Northwoods League at 48-18 and are winners in eight of their last ten ballgames. Despite being outhit 12 to 10, the Chinooks came out on top due to timely hitting.
Traverse City holds a team ERA of just 2.80 and sent Pat Hoflfeld (1.24 ERA) to the mound in hopes of further decimating the Chinooks chances of making the playoffs.
The Pit Spitter defense did exactly that as the Chinooks had just 2 hits before a double from Griffin Doersching sparked the Chinook offense in the fourth put Jake Thompson in position to score on a sacrifice fly from the next batter, Nathan Aide.
The Pit Spitter got their offense going right away as Aaron Winkler, who also made 4 appearances for the Chinooks in 2017, made his first appearance of the summer. Hudson Byorick led off with a single for the Pit Spitters. After another single from Slaten, a double off the wall from Ryan Hampe scored the first run of the ballgame. A groundout to the pitcher scored another run and a wild pitch made the score 3-0.
Jake Arnold’s solo home run in the fourth gave the Pit Spitters the 4-0 lead before Nathan Aide’s sacrifice fly put the Chinooks on the board
Michael Slaten and Mario Camilletti led off the fifth with singles followed by a throwing error from Cole Barr allowed Traverse City to score another run. A sacrifice bunt down the first baseline helped plate a run and a wild pitch scored another. Before the inning was done the Pit Spitters had built their lead to 7-1.
Lakeshore’s offense had the big inning it was waiting for in the aftermath of the Pit Spitter’s three-run inning. A single from Mike Trautwein put two runners on after a leadoff walk to Ronnie Sweeny III. Jake Thompson continued to hit the cover off the baseball as a two-RBI single scored two of five Chinook runs in the inning. Another single from Daryl Myers followed by a Griffin Doersching ground-rule double scored two more for the Chinooks offense. Justin Olson’s groundout to second base scored the Chinooks fifth run of the inning and made the score just 7-6.
A bomb over the right-field fence from Ronnie Sweeny III tied the game at 7 in the seventh. Red hot Jake Thompson came up big once again for the Chinooks as his single up the middle scored Cole Barr and gave the Chinooks the lead. Lakeshore built on their lead as four straight walks helped walk home three runs for the Chinooks.
As the Chinooks came off the field in the seventh the umpires gathered together and once again called for a delay due to lightning in the distance. After a lengthy weather delay, game officials decided to call the game due to weather in the seventh inning with the Chinooks as winners over the Pit Spitters.
Jake Thompson continues to tear the cover off the ball with a .363 average this season and once again led the charge for the offense as he finished two for three with three RBI’s and three runs scored.
The Chinooks get a much-needed victory as they need to play near-perfect baseball down the home stretch if they want any chance of making the playoffs.
Following a showcase tomorrow, the Chinooks and Pit Spitters return to Kapco Park for their final matchup of the season with first pitch at 6:35 PM.
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.