Chinooks squander four-run lead, fall to Booyah late
Ashwaubenon, Wis. — For the third straight game, the Chinooks lineup scored at least six runs.
Though even after overcoming an early three-run deficit, Lakeshore’s eight in the runs column did not suffice.
Allowing 13 total walks and a combined nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings to Green Bay (11-22) at Capital Credit Union Park, Lakeshore (15-18) took its seventh loss in 10 games, 15-8.
“We played real well for 5 ½ innings,” Chinooks field manager Travis Akre said. “We just couldn’t finish.”
Despite owning an 8-4 lead after a three-run burst in the sixth, the Lakeshore bullpen faltered. Booyah center fielder Nadir Lewis, who totaled three walks with a 3-for-4 performance, followed a single from first baseman Nathan Blasick on a two-run triple to center field.
Leadoff hitter Brendan Ryan grounded out to leave right-handed reliever Mitch Mueller without any further damage.
The deficit was sliced to two runs. Mueller didn’t escape his second inning of work unscathed, though the seventh would prove to be worse for right-hander Jim Jarecki.
Upon surrendering four consecutive walks to begin the frame, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater hurler lost an eight-pitch battle to Booyah catcher Kaden Hollow, who walked in a run.
Ahead by only one run, 8-7, Jarecki continued to struggle with no outs recorded. Blasting a grand slam to right field, Booyah designated hitter Jake Berg pushed Green Bay ahead, 11-8.
“We just lost command,” Akre said of the Chinooks bullpen, which held the Booyah to two hits the night prior. “Way too many free bases. That unfortunately was the difference in the game.”
Ryan capped a four-run eighth inning with an RBI single into right field for an 11th unanswered run, increasing the Chinooks deficit to 15-8 off left-handed reliever Cade Berendt.
Lakeshore’s hitting ground to a halt late, meanwhile.
Eight hits served the Chinooks the same number of runs heading into the final three frames. Booyah starter Logan Lee relinquished seven of those hits, as relievers Jacob Riordan and Kyle Coates curbed the plate production to one hit and two walks.
Griffin Doersching went 2-for-5 hitting in the designated hitter slot and catcher Riley Swenson launched a home run to right field for his second of the season. The two hitters carried the Lakeshore lineup early.
“I think the lineup had a solid day today,” right fielder Kai Murphy said. “We punched them hard in the middle of the game and they punched back harder. Hats off to them for staying resilient and taking advantage.”
The high-scoring battle tipped the way of the Booyah, unlike Friday in which Lakeshore blazed on 13 runs scored. Murphy, along with multiple others, departed Ashwaubenon without a hit.
“I got away from my best approach at the plate, swung at pitches I didn’t need to and was around everything tonight. Definitely need to be a bit shorter to the ball moving forward,” Murphy said of his 0-for-5 outing in the leadoff spot.
Lakeshore managed back-to-back walks in the eighth, those not being enough to plate any additional runners. Doersching tapped a pitch down the third baseline to Booyah third baseman Max Wagner, who stepped on the bag to eliminate the final scoring threat.
A fly out and a pair of groundouts ended the Chinooks’ hopes of igniting a ninth-inning rally.
Green Bay left 17 baserunners stranded as opposed to Lakeshore’s six.
Riordan garnered the win for the Booyah, while Mueller was tacked with the loss and moved to 2-1 on the season.
“The road doesn’t get any easier. We are back on the road tomorrow,” Akre said. “Get a chance to take away Wausau’s playoff chances. There’s always something to play. Just have to go out and play good baseball.”
Morale remains high among the Chinooks prior to a six-game home stretch upon a return from a two-game road series in Wausau, Wisconsin that begins Sunday versus the Woodchucks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
“The team is really coming together as a group, the everyday grind is tough but sit makes it better having such great guys around you every day.” Murphy said. “We are starting to swing it well and I believe this month is going to be a big one for the Nooks.”