Mankato, MN – The Lakeshore Chinooks may have only had one All-Star competing in the 2021 Northwoods League All-Star festivities, but Chinooks first baseman Griffin Doersching represented the Great Lakes Division in impressive fashion.
Major League Baseball scouts, in addition to thousands of fans, were in attendance and Lakeshore’s leader in home runs did not disappoint.
Doersching, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound slugger, first participated in the Home Run Challenge on Monday before Tuesday’s All-Star Game, both in Mankato, Minnesota.
The former single-season home run record-setter at Northern Kentucky did not shy away from the big stage, collecting a contest-most 13 home runs in the Challenge’s nine-inning format. Doersching ultimately garnered the Northwoods League’s Individual Home Run award after homering four times in his first seven starts of the season.
“Eat a lot, lift long, and lift heavy,” Doersching said to Northwoods League reporters when asked about his workout secrets after the event.
Yet, Doersching’s impressive performances did not remain on the diamond as he also spent spare moments signing autographs and taking photos with young fans who attended ISG Field, the home of the Great Plains Division’s Mankato Moondogs.
Despite not starting in the All-Star Game the following night, Doersching managed to contribute in a 1-for-2 performance, nonetheless. With the Great Lakes Division trailing 5-1 entering the fifth inning, Doersching pinch hit for Justin Janas of the Kenosha Kingfish, singling to left field in his first at-bat.
Although it had been held to one run through the eighth frame, the Great Lakes rallied for two runs in the ninth. After back-to-back RBI base hits from Kingfish center fielder McKay Barney and Dock Spiders second baseman Chandler Simpson, Doersching worked a two-out walk to load the bases. No additional runs were scored, and the Great Plains won, 7-3.
The Great Plains Division defended its home turf in both the Home Run Challenge and the All-Star Game, but Doersching carried the momentum established in his second season with Lakeshore.
Doersching expects to return to the team Thursday in Wausau, Wisconsin for a two-game series versus the Woodchucks and will start the next stage of his collegiate career at Oklahoma State this fall.