Chinooks Retaliate in Rockford
Gray Rockford, Ill. — After losing in the 10th inning to the Rockford Rivets (12-16) at home one night prior, it only made sense that the Chinooks (11-18) won in extras on the road Friday.
A game of a cat and mouse came to an end at Rivets Stadium after a two-run, 10th inning, that sent the boys back to Mequon, Wisconsin, with a 4-2 victory.
“I really liked the energy we played with all night,” said field manager Travis Akre. “These guys played hard tonight — first pitch to last out. [I’m] really proud of their efforts. We played pretty good defense all night. Our pitchers worked out of a few jams and gave us a chance to win. [A] fun game to be a part of. “
Ohio State freshman Nate Haberthier started on the bump and worked quickly through inning number one, despite relinquishing a hit to the first batter. Haberthier drudged out of jams all night long amid giving up 12 hits.
Following a silent first inning, Lakeshore jumped on the board first to begin the evening. Chinooks’ veteran, Justin Olson, reached second base on a two-out double to center field and Connor Kimple promptly brought him around to score with an RBI single.
For the team’s sake, luckily, only a few of the Rivets base knocks converted into runs. In the second, one run scored on a 6-3 putout. Through innings three through six, Haberthier allowed just one more run while striking out four.
Lakeshore came back in the sixth, with another run to break the tie, thanks in part to Western Kentucky’s Jackson Gray. Gray smashed a solo home run to right field, making it back-to-back nights with a long ball. His moonshot extended the Chinooks’ lead, 2-1.
Jason DeCicco held down the fort for the Chinooks in the seventh and eighth innings. DeCicco has been here since Game 1 of the season and has served as a catalyst on this everchanging Lakeshore team. The Eastern Illinois product threw 2.1 innings with six strikeouts — a season-high.
In need of a run to win, Lakeshore delivered with two. Gonzaga product, Dylan Johnson, highlighted the frame when he recorded his first hit with the Chinooks but also provided an insurance run which led his team to victory.
“It felt great to finally get a hit, and in a position that means something for the team,” Johnson said. “My approach was to see a fastball down because I’ve been chasing the high fastballs and wanted to lay off of them. [I] got it and executed it.”
Mitch Mueller closed out the end of the ninth and tenth. Mueller who recently transferred from Winona State to Parkland garnered his fourth win of the summer under 1.2 innings pitched and three strikeouts.
“Mitch has really grown this summer,” Akre said. “I feel he has taken a big step forward. To see him develop some good confidence is really going to help him. He knows what he has to work on. Really excited to see how he progresses.”
Lakeshore hits the road Saturday to Kokomo, Indiana, for a two-game road series against the Jackrabbits, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.