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Early Offense Not Enough in Road Loss

Madison, Wis.– After starting off with an early 2-1 lead, the Lakeshore Chinooks (10-16) bats fizzled out on their way to a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Madison Mallards (14-11).

In just three pitches, Lakeshore struck first, scoring the first run of the ball game after back to back extra base hits from Nathan Aide and Griffin Doersching. After Aide smashed a double to right field, Doersching answered on the very first pitch of his at bat, tripling to center field. 

Doersching spoke on his simple approach to the at bat, saying, “My approach is just driving them in.”

Keeping it simple seems to work for the power hitting right hander. Doersching leads the team in home runs, RBI’s, slugging percentage and on base percentage plus slugging(OPS). 

The Lakeshore lead was short-lived. 

Cam Anfang made his Chinook debut on the mound Monday night. The right hander from Cornell College made a very strong first outing with the ball club, pitching into a few troubling innings, but overall a clean performance. Anfang, a redshirt sophomore from Sullivan, Wisconsin, threw 5 and ⅔ innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, striking out seven Mallard hitters as well. 

“Cam gave us a real good start,” Field manager Travis Akre said. “He challenged their hitters. Was able to mix well all night.”

After an error put a man on, Mallard center fielder JT Benson fisted a triple to center field, squaring the game at 1-1. 

A rollercoaster start to the game, the Lakeshore offense battled back in the top of the second inning, jumping to an early 2-1 lead. With two outs in the inning, Orlando Salinas wore a fast ball from Joseph Kalafut, followed by a triple from Nathan Aide. The RBI extra base hit was his second extra base knock of the ball game and it was only the second inning. 

The two Chinook runs in the first two innings of the ball game were all the team could muster for the entirety of the game. The Mallards took full advantage of the struggling Chinook offense, adding three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The three runs proved to be too much for the Lakeshore bats to overcome, only putting together three hits in the final seven frames of the ball game. 

With two men in scoring position and two outs in the inning, Akre turned to Robby Butenschoen out of the bullpen to try and stop the bleeding. The freshman right hander struggled, allowing a base hit and a double to plate three Mallard runs. Butenschoen was credited with the loss Monday night.

Kalafut earned the victory for his performance Monday night. Pitching six complete innings while only allowing two earned runs, the southpaw from Edgewood College struck out five Chinook hitters as well. On the season, Kalafut has faced the Lakeshore bats four times, allowing seven earned runs on 20 and ⅓ innings on the mound. 

Three Mallard arms pitched the three consecutive innings following Kalafut’s performance. The three pitchers combined to allow just two Lakeshore hitters to successfully reach base. Jared Fong came in relief to start the top of the ninth inning in a save opportunity. The right hander made quick work of the Lakeshore hitters, needing just eight pitches to retire the side and earn the save for the game. 

Lakeshore fell to last place in the Northwoods League Great Lakes West Division following Monday night’s 4-2 loss.

While the Chinooks do not have a game tomorrow, six Lakeshore players are heading to La Crosse, Wisconsin for the Major League Dreams Showcase. The six players will have a chance at showing off their skills and talents in front of Major League Baseball scouts. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.

“Tomorrow is a good opportunity for those guys,” Akre said. “I know they will go out and compete. A great opportunity for them to showcase themselves.”

Following the MLD showcase on Tuesday, the Chinooks head back to Warner Park to take their revenge on the Mallards. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4.