Edwards Saves Chinooks in 4-3 Win
Fond Du Lac, Wis. — Hopefully by now, you know the name, Austin Edwards. The Lakeshore pitcher who held the Chinooks in the win column Wednesday evening at Fond Du Lac.
Not only did the right-hander draw the save while the Dock Spiders were knocking on the door with bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but the man who also singled and tripled in the 4-3 victory.
“I started off well, I was in the zone,” said Edwards when asked about the final inning. “Kind of at the end there, after batting all day I was kind of getting tired and just really had to reign it in there and get the final out. [I] haven’t batted in three years, but we are short on position players so coach Akre asked me to step up and just went out there and just swang it.”
The Chinooks single-handedly took care of business in Madison on Tuesday, and they carried their momentum through Wednesday’s game as well. Lakeshore responded with firepower following a Bryan Aguilar strikeout to begin the game, recording two quick runs. The charge was spearheaded by Josh Glenn and Nathan Rose.
From the rubber, It was easy as one-two-three to start things off for right-hander Blake Malatestinic who took the mound against the Dock Spiders. Fastballs dominated the mix of pitches and no one was able to touch them.
The Lakeshore dugout was still alive with swagger although no runs crossed the plate in the second. Dalton Doyle started the inning with a single to left, while Conner Fiene reached first on a free pass.
Malatestinic, locked and loaded another round of pitches, dismantling Fond Du Lac’s lineup moments later with his deadly repertoire. The redshirt junior earned the fourth strikeout of his Chinook debut.
Known for his home run hitting, Griffin Doersching had been reluctant to get things going for Lakeshore this summer. However, that certainly changed in the bottom of the third when the veteran smacked a solo long ball over the left-field wall, silencing the crowd.
“Getting the first one out of the way always feels good and hopefully there are more to follow,” said Doersching about his first home run of the season.
A fifth strikeout and two flyouts were all that was needed as Malatestinic easily got through the third. In the bottom half of the fourth, Malatestinic was relieved by his teammate Kyle Langs. Malatestinic threw 3 ⅔ innings on three hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
Despite failing to put any runs on the board in the first four, a wild throw to first base allowed the Dock Spiders to score their first run of the evening, cutting the deficit 3-1.
Dock Spiders pitcher Raymond Hibrich continued to keep Lakeshore contained once again in the sixth, striking out two, one of them being his Eastern Illinois teammate, Dalton Doyle.
Fond Du Lac’s Ben Gallaher walked to the batter’s box on a mission, and with two outs, the catcher struck a liner into right-field scoring two runs and tying the ball game at three apiece.
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Lang struggled to hold Lakeshore’s lead in the seventh but recuperated, forcing two groundouts and adding a single strikeout to his performance.
And when his team needed him most, third-baseman Dalton Doyle delivered. An RBI single that sneaked into left-field was enough for Lakeshore to take the lead in the top of the eighth inning.
“Wasn’t the hardest hit, but found a hole and got Rose in,” Doyle said. “Just trying to do my job and get it to the next guy.”
The Chinooks got out of the bottom of eight easily, thanks in part to the solid pitching from Andrew Staebell. Staebell was taken out in the ninth and replaced by Austin Edwards after allowing a couple of opposing men to reach base. Upon Edward’s entry, the star remained calm, cool and collected helping his team collect its second consecutive win.
The boys will be back in action as they host the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders in their home-opener Thursday at 6:35 p.m.