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Chinooks Stars Get Major League Looks

By Kevin Mackey

Madison, WI – As the Northwoods League has turned into the grooming grounds for some of the nation’s top collegiate talent, Major League scouts tend to take notice of the elite players around the league. With the likes of Ben Zobrist, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, and Jordan Zimmerman as notable alumni of the highly touted league, the Northwoods League decided to put together a day dedicated to players grabbing the attention of scouts. Thus, the creation of the annual Major League Dreams Showcase.

The Madison Mallards and “The Duck Pond” will play host to this year’s Major League Dreams Showcase that brings together 100 of the Northwoods League’s top prospects to form four teams for a day of scouting workouts and double-header action with games at 4:05 PM and 7:35 PM. Played in front of major league scouts, the Showcase provides an invaluable platform for players looking to one day reach their dreams as a part of a Major League franchise.  Participating players are hand-selected by a panel of major league scouts, distinguishing this event from the more traditional All-Star Game format that features representatives from every team.

Lakeshore Chinooks players selected by a panel of major league scouts joined players from the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders, Wisconsin Woodchucks, Madison Mallards, and Rockford Rivets as the home team in the second game of the doubleheader.

Chinooks 1B Ronnie Sweeny III (University of Minnesota), OF/C Mike Trautwein (Northwestern University), OF Nathan Aide (University of Illinois), RHP Luke Sommerfeld (Clemson University), and RHP Brendan McGuigan (University of Richmond) were selected from the Chinooks roster to play in the Showcase on Tuesday night.

After previously being selected to take part in Showcase, Mike Trautwein decided not to participate due to an injury.

Chinooks outfielder Nathan Aide took the field as a starter at designated hitter, but also spent time in right field and hit seventh in the lineup, one spot before Ronnie Sweeny III, for the home team in Game 2 of the doubleheader. Nathan Aide has played 30 games for the Chinooks this summer after playing out the season at Madison College and committing to play at the University of Illinois. Aide is hitting .252 with 18 RBI’s and 3 home runs for the Chinooks this summer. Aide went 1/4 on the night with a single in the fifth and a strikeout.

Chinooks first baseman Ronnie Sweeny III started at first base and hit eighth in the lineup. Throughout the summer for the Chinooks, Sweeny has hit .228 with 20 RBI’s, 4 doubles, and 4 RBI’s. Sweeny recently committed to the University of Minnesota to join the Golden Gophers after spending the start of his collegiate career at Iowa Western CC. Sweeny on the night went 0/3 with two strikeouts and a walk with the walk leading to him scoring a run in the ninth inning.

Chinooks pitchers Luke Sommerfeld and Brendan McGuigan each got an inning of work in Game 2 of the doubleheader on Tuesday night. Sommerfeld has made 16 appearances for the Chinooks this summer with 19.2 innings on the mound and 25 strikeouts. McGuigan has made 10 appearances this summer spanning over 12.2 innings with 13 strikeouts.

McGuigan got his inning of work in the sixth inning as he faced the minimum with a strikeout as he handed the ball off to Madison Mallards Leon Davidson in the seventh. Sommerfeld filled the role that he has played for the Chinooks as he pitched the ninth inning. He faced five batters over the inning and gave up a home run to Andrew Morrow, who will be back at Kapco Park on Wednesday as a member of the Traverse City Pit Spitters. Sommerfeld finished with two strikeouts on the evening and caught some eyes in the crowd as he was consistently hitting 92-95 MPH on the radar gun.

The team the Chinooks stars played for fell in Game 2 of the doubleheader by the score of 9-5.

Chinooks will be back in action on Wednesday as the Traverse City Pit Spitters return to Kapco Park as the Chinooks look to keep their playoff hopes alive. First pitch with come 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.