Mequon, Wis. — The Lakeshore Chinooks jumped out of the gates yet didn’t come out victorious, falling to the Kokomo Jackrabbits, 10-4, Sunday night at Kapco Park.
Lakeshore (2-4) rallied in the first three frames, establishing a 3-0 lead that originated from a sacrifice fly and a groundout to second base. That sole lead vanished thereafter.
The Jackrabbits (5-1) answered with a pair of runs in the fourth, reducing the deficit to one run.
Not offering a counterattack, the Lakeshore lineup struggled to move runners into scoring position late while the bullpen struggled to hold the slim advantage.
Chinooks right-handed starter Joe Glassey tossed three scoreless innings but allowed two earned runs. Reliever Joe Roundtree ran into trouble immediately in his Lakeshore debut in the fifth.
Jackrabbits designated hitter Chris Santiago blew the contest open with a three-run double to deep left field, pushing Kokomo further ahead, 7-3.
“Hard to win games in this league when you give up 10 runs,” Chinooks field manager Travis Akre said. “Too many walks combined with giving up 11 hits. Not a good winning combination.”
Having relied on three consecutive infield singles to light a two-run spark in the third, catcher Stephen Hrustich hit a sacrifice fly and center fielder Collin Mathews scored.
Mathews registered the Chinooks’ first hit in the first and finished 2-for-4 with five stolen bases for 11 total on the season, though Lakeshore failed to bring home eight base runners in its Game 2 loss.
“Stealing bases is a good part of my game, it puts runners in scoring position,” Mathews said. “I told one of our players, Kai Murphy, that I was going to beat the record today and I hope I did. But you know, it just puts us in a good position to score more runs.”
First baseman Justin Olson led off with a double in the second, setting up third baseman Mike Sears to reach second base and plate Olson on a fielding error. Sears moved to third base on a groundout but Jackrabbits starting pitcher Steven Silvas struck out designated hitter Brennen Bales and second baseman Colton Bauer and back-to-back, concluding the second.
Akre signaled for left-handed reliever Jason DeCiccco after Roundtree ended the fifth with five runs relinquished. DeCicco struck out three batters and hold Kokomo to one hit through the eighth.
Bales logged an RBI single to score Olson for Lakeshore’s fourth and final run.
The Jackrabbits’ lineup continued to churn in the ninth, nonetheless. Called upon in the ninth inning, right-hander Jim Jarecki grappled to find the strike zone. The Wisconsin-Whitewater hurler walked a team-high three hitters and Santiago delivered a knockout blow with a two-run single to right field.
Kokomo had commanded more than a comfortable lead, 9-4. Santiago was then brought home on a two-out single from Jakob Simons.
While Lakeshore’s bullpen wavered from the middle innings onward, the Jackrabbits used five arms to prevent the Chinooks from adding more runs after the third.
Roundtree was tacked with the loss while Jackrabbits reliever Dylan Delvecchio earned the win after firing 1 1/3 innings, allowing the Chinooks zero hits.
“This is a very busy week. We got to come out strong tomorrow,” Akre said.
Returning to Wausau, Wisconsin Monday, Lakeshore looks toward a doubleheader versus Wisconsin to rebound. The Chinooks blazed past the Woodchucks for a 10-5 victory on July 4 prior to the postponement of the series’ Game 2 the following day.
“We have played better on the road this season than we have at home for whatever reason,” Akre said. “Hope we can play good baseball tomorrow.”
First pitch from Athletic Park is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.