Madison, Wis.– Lakeshore traveled to Madison, Wednesday morning, expecting to compete in a doubleheader. With torrential downpour in the forecast, the weather kept the two teams from finishing either game in nine innings. The Great Lakes West rivals split the series, 4-0 and 11-5.
The Chinooks fell to the Mallards in the first leg of Wednesday’s doubleheader, losing 4-0 after totaling one hit in five innings of play.
Eight Lakeshore hitters struck out, doubling the most strikeouts Madison’s right-handed pitcher Kyle Subers has thrown in a single outing this summer. The Lafayette College product threw five complete innings in his shutout effort, allowing just two Chinook hitters to reach base. Subers threw a strike on 66% of his pitches Monday afternoon, very efficient performance and one the Lakeshore lineup hopes to forget.
Brennen Bales was the only Lakeshore hitter able to get a hit off of Subers. The only other two Chinook base runners were Nathan Aide via hit-by-pitch and Riley Swenson via walk.
Blake Malatestinic took the mound for Lakeshore in his seventh start of the summer. Though he struck out six Mallard hitters, the right-hander out of Eastern Illinois University struggled early.
In the bottom of the first frame, the first three Mallard hitters reached safely on base hits. Leadoff man Cam Cratic scored the Mallards first of four runs after a single to center field from Alex Ladisernia. However, Malatestanic fought back, striking out the next batter he faced and forcing Zach Storbakken into a double play to end the inning.
The troubles on the mound didn’t end in the first inning, unfortunately. The Mallards quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second frame after hitting back-to-back home runs. Cam Frederick and Cam Cratic both hit their bombs over the right-field fence, blowing the game open for the Mallards.
Ryan Jungbauer lifted Malatestinic in the bottom of the fourth inning, striking out one batter on his way to a scoreless inning.
After Lakeshore did not get anything going in the top of the fifth inning, a torrential downpour canceled game one. Per Northwoods League rules, the game finished 5 ½ innings, enough to count as an official game.
Seven late runs, including a two-run blast from Brennen Bales, propelled the Chinooks over the Mallards Wednesday night, resulting in an 11-5 victory.
Following game one’s shutout and one hit loss, the Chinooks hoped to turn their day around and split the series with the Mallards. Their bats came out with some urgency Wednesday evening, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first and getting four men on base in total.
To lead off, Collin Mathews reached first on a hit by pitch. Then, Brennen Bales homered to left field, however, this early advantage did not last long.
Similar to the Chinooks’ start to the game, the Mallards’ lead-off man reached base, followed by a home run, this time to right field. Tying the ball game at 2-2, Alex Ladisernia and his teammates kept going. Two Lakeshore errors and a double helped the Mallards score two more runs, spelling disaster for the Chinooks early in the ball game.
“Bales was big for us in game 2,” Akre said. “Got us started with the home run. Credit our offense for putting pressure on them. Even after they scored four to take the lead.”
Down 4-2 after the first inning, the persistent Chinook attack kept fighting. A leadoff walk from Mike Sears and a base hit from Mack Timbrook set up Brennen Bales well in the second inning. Bales delivered again, scoring Sears from second on a base hit to left field. Timbrook made his way around the bases, ultimately scoring off a Stephen Hrustich sacrifice fly, tying the game at four apiece.
Lakeshore scored nine unanswered runs, including the second inning’s pair of runs. With seven combined runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the Chinooks were primed for a victory in Madison, an important win before returning home for a homestand, winning game two 11-5.
Lakeshore returns home Thursday, starting a four-game homestand. The Chinooks take on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in a two-game series starting Thursday. In eight games against the Rafters, the Chinooks have won six, including three straight. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.