Mequon, Wis. — Prior to Monday’s outing against the Wisconsin Woodchucks (9-5), Lakeshore (7-7) had failed to win inside Kapco Park for nearly two years. And on Monday, that statistic changed as they garnered their first home win of the season, 5-1.
The victory Monday was credited to exceptional pitching, an area of the team’s success that has been on display the last few nights. Right-hander Weston Muir continued to impress with his pitching performance Monday earning the win and taking over for Ben Cruikshank who started the first few frames for Lakeshore.
“Weston Muir came in and threw really well, birthday today, family in town, wanted to compete and really just grinded for us and gave us a chance,” said field manager Travis Akre.
Despite allowing the Woodchucks their only run of the evening and the only run allowed in over 25 innings for the Chinooks, Muir was in command of his fastball which led him to four innings pitched on four hits, two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Momentum from the batter’s box carried over from Sunday’s shutout win against the Rapids Rafters in what could be compared to the passing of the torch. Players who excelled such as Jackson Gray and Ethan Vecrumba were replaced by Arizona State arrival Kai Murphy and Greendale, Wisconsin native Paul Toetz.
Murphy, who arrived in Mequon just over 24-hours ago, administered a spark for the Chinooks that ultimately granted the team two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Batting in the nine spot, the redshirt freshman went 2-for-4 with two singles and two RBIs.
“I knew I was probably gonna get a first-pitch fastball and I was ready for it,” said Murphy when discussing his plate approach. “I think they were gonna try to sneak some fastballs by me, especially the first guy.”
In addition, third baseman Dalton Doyle recorded one hit, however, he has been a key contributor to the team’s success not only at the plate but also in the field.
Although it was hard to top an 11-run offensive performance from the night earlier, the Chinooks produced an explosive three-run eighth inning Monday that provided the team with much-needed breathing room.
The inning began with a single to left field provided by shortstop Nathan Rose who significantly struggled in Wisconsin Rapids leaving numerous strikeouts on the scorecard. However, Monday, it was quite the opposite as the Bowling Green freshman tallied three hits in four plate appearances including a double. One thing led to another and quickly three runs crossed the plate on what seemed like an inning of walks.
The Chinooks are now sitting right at .500 going 5-5 in the last 10 games. To note, the team is 6-2 on the road and 1-5 at Kapco Park.
“Just good to see those guys go out and have a dominant performance,” said Akre when asked about the increased sense of excitement surrounding the team. “Those kids wanted it. They know they have been struggling here and they enjoying playing at home, they get a chance to sleep in their own beds at night and have a routine.”
Lakeshore will stay put Tuesday for the second leg of the two-game series against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.