By Deann Davidson
Mequon, WI – After losing 14-2 last night, the Chinooks came to Kapco Park for the last game of the season hoping for a win. Lakeshore attempted a comeback but fell short and lost the game to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters with a final score of 7-6.
Taking the mound for Lakeshore was Bailey Vuylsteke, a lefthander out of Miami-Ohio with a 3.72 ERA and a 2-0 record on the season. Vuylsteke has walked 10 while striking out 21 batters. The starting pitcher for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters was Zack Hunsicker, a right from UCF who has a 3-1 record this season with a 4.34 ERA.
Wisconsin Rapids went down in order in the first, and Lakeshore took an early lead off of a leadoff home run from Cole Barr. The Rafters answered in the bottom of the second after a leadoff walk to Osvaldo Tovalin followed by a single from Peter Matt. With one out, the bases were loaded on a single from Edarian Williams. Roman Trujillo hit an RBI-single to tie the game at one and keep the bases loaded for Aiden Huggins, who gave the Rafters a 2-1 lead with an RBI-single. The Chinooks got out of the jam after turning a double play. In the bottom of the inning, Lakeshore was unable to score.
In the third, the Rafters got a leadoff double, but Jake Dunham hit a grounder to Barr at third who threw to Griffin Doersching to get Dunham at first and then completed the second double play of the game for Lakeshore by getting the tag on the leadoff man attempting to advance to third. In the bottom of the third, Doersching and Thompson had back-to-back one-out singles and Daryl Myers hit an RBI-single to tie the game at two and put runners at the corners. Trent Bauer hit the fourth consecutive single to plate Thompson and give Lakeshore a 3-2 lead. The Rafters brought in reliever Izzy Fuentes who got the next two batters out to end the inning.
To start the fourth inning, Matt reached on an error by Justin Olson in left and then reached home on a double by Noah Thigpen to tie the game at three. A single from Trujillo scored Thigpen and the Wisconsin Rapids led by one. After a double by Huggins put runners at second and third, the Chinooks brought Jack Pagliarini in to pitch. The first batter he faced grounded out to second, but scored Trujillo. A two-out RBI-double by Anthony Galason gave the Rafters a 6-3 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Lakeshore was sent down in order.
Pagliarini faced the minimum in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Doersching singled to lead off and a one-out double by Myers put runners at second and third. Bauer hit an RBI-groundout to bring the Chinooks within two runs of the Rafters.
In the sixth, Wisconsin Rapids tacked on another run. Huggins doubled to left field and advanced on a groundout by Richie Schiekofer and scored on a wild pitch with Galason batting to make it 7-4. In Lakeshore’s half of the sixth, Olson worked a one-out walk and a single from Gunner Hellstrom put runners at first and second. Barr then grounded into a fielder’s choice, putting runners at the corners with two outs. With Doersching batting, Olson scored and Barr advanced to second to make it a 7-5 ballgame. Doersching was able to work the count full and get a two-out walk. With Thompson at the plate, the runners attempted to steal and an overthrow to third allowed Barr to cross the plate and Lakeshore only trailed by one run. The inning ended after a flyout from Myers.
In the seventh, the Rafters put two runners on with one out and the Chinooks relieved Pagliarini with Luke Sommerfeld who struck out Thigpen for the second out of the inning. Sommerfeld issued a walk to Williams to load the bases but the Rafters stranded the runners after a flyout to Trenton Wallace in right field. Lakeshore went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
Neither team scored for the rest of the game and the Rafters won 7-6 and advanced to the playoffs after this necessary win. Vuylsteke took the loss for Lakeshore and ended his season with a 2-1 record. Myers went 4-3 on the night and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Bauer had two RBIs for Lakeshore.
This loss ends the Summer of ’19 for the Lakeshore Chinooks. In the second half of the season, the Chinooks had a record of 16-20 and their overall record is 32-40.
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.