Wausau, Wis. — It was once again a firework display performance from Nate Haberthier on the mound but this time he added a win to his resume.
Good enough for the Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night, Haberthier registered six innings of scoreless baseball on just one hit and seven strikeouts. His performance jump-started the Chinooks to victory as they cruised by the Wisconsin Woodchucks, 13-1.
“I think that the past two outings my key to success has just been locating with the fastball to get ahead in the count and just getting innings under my belt and just getting comfortable back in the starting role again,” Haberthier said.
Not to mention, the West Chester, Ohio native has not pitched in a starting role since high school. In Columbus this spring, he was held to six appearances in just over eight innings pitched.
On top of the emphatic mound work, the Lakeshore bats were hot from the start, which was a strong point of emphasis from field manager Travis Akre Monday night.
Houston Baptist’s Brennen Bales led the attack which was a nice change of pace granted he has not been the same player as of late like he once started out as. Singling to center field to start the evening was just the beginning, as he amounted to five RBIs on three hits, two of them being doubles.
“Bales gave us a lift offensively tonight,” Akre said. “ [He] barreled a few balls that led to some runs. He was hitting with guys in scoring position all night and took advantage of it.”
Adding to Bales’ single at the dish was Chinook veteran Justin Olson and third-baseman Stephen Hrustich, both players making their impacts felt. For Olson, it has not been the warmest welcome back to Mequon, solely from the standpoint of wins and losses but Tuesday was bright as he added a pair of hits to the team’s total.
Innings two through five were rather quiet for the Woodchucks or at least from the batter’s box as Haberthier continued to pitch lights out. With a sizable lead, he was just able to focus on getting outs.
“Oh it’s huge,” said Haberthier when asked how much his confidence improves when his team has the lead. “When they scored three runs in the top of the first it took so much weight off my shoulders and knew I had to go out there and fill up the zone and get outs.”
Within the next three frames, Lakeshore poured on 10 runs and laid the home team to rest.
Repeatedly, it was Brennen Bales who was responsible for initiating the late-inning massacre, his sac fly in the sixth brought home, Riley Swenson. In the seventh, it was opposing pitcher Peyton Schofield who gifted the Chinooks, walking four batters which led to four runs crossing the plate.
Five more runs in favor of the Chinooks capped off the ninth inning where the bats had not seen a night like that in a while.
Lakeshore snaps a four-game win streak and will hit the road to Madison Wednesday for another doubleheader with the Mallards.
“Quick turnaround. Gotta embrace it, only thing you can do,” Akre said.
The first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m.