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Published On: August 1st, 2021

Mequon, Wis. — The State Fair Cream Puffs (1-0) annihilated the Wisconsin Woodchucks (15-8) 18-2 in their debut Saturday. 

For the weekend only, the Lakeshore Chinooks rebranded to the State Fair Cream Puffs, presented by the Wisconsin State Fair.

“It’s good to see guys get rewarded for putting in extra work…,” said field manager Travis Akre. “When guys are struggling and they commit themselves to making adjustments, it’s really rewarding to see those guys get it in return.  

On the way from Wausau, Wisconsin Saturday, the Woodchucks’ team bus broke down and the team did not arrive at Kapco Park until 50 minutes before the first pitch. Nonetheless, they hit the ground running and put up the games’ first run; thanks in part to a fielding error from second baseman Mack Timbrook that proved to be costly. 

However, the Cream Puffs responded in the latter half of the first. A five-run inning set the tone and the opposing Woodchucks were never able to revive themselves. 

Indiana’s Ethan Vecrumba, who has become a mainstay in the leadoff spot, reached first on a walk. Griffin Doersching and Jackson Gray also reached their respective bags with ease, which brought Concordia’s Sam Beers to the box with no outs. Beers batted home Vecrumba and Doersching on an RBI double to right. Moments later Evan Rice scored Gray and first baseman Justin Olson brought home the rest. 

Despite the one earned run that Ohio State’s Nate Haberthier gave up in the first, it was straight-sailing from there on out.

“At that point, after the first inning, I know I struggled a little bit but I knew I had to go out there and just throw in the ball in the zone…,” Haberthier said. 

The Cincinnati, Ohio native, matched his summer-high in strikeouts with seven while also walking just one batter. The last time he recorded a seven-strikeout performance was when the Chinooks beat the Woodchucks 13-1 at Athletic Park on July 13. 

The State Fair offense brought their run-scoring ways back out in the second, with a trio of runs. Jackson Gray did the most damage, providing a no-doubt, two-run home run to right field. The Western Kentucky Hilltopper is now on a 10-game hitting streak that dates back to July 18. During that span, he has 20 hits and 10 RBIs to his name. 

Nine runs crossed home plate in the third. For the record, that is more runs than the Cream Puffs (Chinooks) have scored in their previous two games in Fond du Lac combined. 

On Saturday, eight of nine Cream Puff hitters recorded a hit and an RBI. Doersching, Gray and Olson all recorded three base knocks while Gray, Beers, Olson and Riley Swenson each recorded a trio of RBIs.

“That felt really good,” Swenson said following the team’s blowout win. “Travis told us to ‘have some fun out there.’ I think we have been putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to compete and perform at a high level…”

Kent State’s Brody Ware lifted Haberthier in the seventh and pitched one inning with no hits, no runs, a walk and a strikeout. Germantown’s DJ Hess closed out the action in the eighth and ninth innings, giving up one hit while striking out a pair. 

The Cream Puffs return to Kapco Park Sunday for Game 2 against the Woodchucks, with the first pitch at 1:35 p.m.