Mequon, Wis. — The typically explosive Lakeshore hitting was shut down Saturday night, resulting in two Chinook losses, 3-1 and 1-0.
Entering Saturday evening, the Lakeshore Chinooks (10-9) sat atop the Northwoods League Great Lakes West division, sharing the top spot with Wisconsin Woodchucks. Riding a six game winning streak, the Chinooks hadn’t lost a game in a week.
Every winning streak has to end eventually. Saturday night, the Chinooks saw their streak end after their offense never seemed to find its footing at the hands of the Kalamazoo Growlers (7-12).
Resuming June 9th’s rainout in Kalamazoo, the Growlers made the six hour trek to Kapco Park to try and climb their way out of the last place spot in the Great Lakes East division.
On June 9th, Blake Malatestanic pitched three scoreless innings and Lakeshore held a 2-0 lead before the torrential downpour postponed the game.
Picking up where they left off in the fourth inning, Jack Kartsonas took the mound and immediately faced a sizzling Growler offense.
In the first frame of the resumed game, Lakeshore looked unraveled defensively. A throwing error and a miscommunication on a pop fly to the pitcher, resulted in extra base runners for the Growlers, who already had two hits and a run scored prior to the poor play.
While Kartsonas pounded the zone, the Growler hitters responded well, putting barrel on ball in nearly every at bat in the inning. Three runs scored on four hits and the defensive lapses resulted in a 3-2 Growler lead, a lead that ultimately was insurmountable.
After the action packed fourth inning in which all five of the game’s runs were scored, the Chinooks only put together three total hits, their demise in a game that was theirs for the taking.
Leaving seven runners on base, including not being able to drive home the tying or leading runs in their last at bats with the bases loaded, Lakeshore ultimately fell in game one of the double header 3-2.
Despite the three run fourth inning, Kartsonas pitched a five inning gem, allowing five hits and three earned runs, never getting the run support he needed.
Thirty minutes later, the first pitch in game two of the double header was thrown by Lakeshore’s Joe Glassey.
In his third start this season, Glassey was phenomenal, pitching five shutout innings, allowing just two Growler hits and striking out a pair as well.
“Trying to catch bad barrels a lot of the time.” Glassey said on his approach. “Throwing the ball where hitters won’t get good contact.”
Glassey did just that, getting the Growler hitters to fly out eight different times in his great performance on the mound Saturday night.
While his performance helped keep the Chinooks in the ball game, Kalamazoo’s starting pitcher, Adam Wheaton’s performance was even stronger.
The right handed senior from Trine University pitched a near flawless 7 and ⅓ nnings, striking out seven Chinook hitters and only allowing two hits.
Wheaton carved through the Chinook lineup, nearly pitching a complete game shutout; however, the game needed an extra frame to find it’s winning run. After reaching his pitch limit early in the eighth inning, Braden Forsyth lifted Wheaton and finished off the Chinook hitters, who showed life with the California rule in play.
Starting a runner on second base in the top of the eighth inning, the Growlers creative hitting tactics helped get their man home, scoring the one and only run in the ball game after a passed ball from Lakeshore catcher Stephen Hrustich.
Needing just one run to tie the game and two to win, the Chinooks found themselves with the bases loaded and a chance to win for the second time on the night.
In front of a packed Kapco Park, the Chinooks were unable to bring their man home from third for their second straight game, a loss that will sting following the great pitching which gave them a chance to begin with.
With a chance to right the ship on Father’s day Sunday afternoon, Lakeshore takes on Kalamazoo, hoping to get back into the win column. Presented by Usinger’s Famous Sausage, Father’s day means a free brat for Dads. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.