Mequon, Wis.– The Lakeshore Chinooks (12-20) made amends for their summer long struggle against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (19-12) Monday night, winning 5-3 at Kapco Park.
Entering Monday night, the Dock Spiders seemed to have the Chinooks number as Lakeshore was just 2-8 against Fond du Lac. Hoping to turn their misfortune around, Field manager Travis Akre sent Cam Anfang to the mound.
Making his second start for the Chinooks, Anfang looked to continue the momentum from his debut against the Madison Mallards, where he threw 5 and ⅔ innings, allowing three runs and striking out seven hitters.
Retiring the first six Dock Spider hitters he faced, Anfang found his command early, using his changeup to force three early groundouts. The redshirt sophomore from Cornell College faced adversity in the top of the third inning after conceding a leadoff double to Ben Gallaher.
“Just to prove I could do it,” Anfang said postgame. “Being from a small DIII school, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.”
Later in the inning, a single scored Gallaher, drawing first blood for the Dock Spiders and spelling trouble for Anfang and the Chinooks. Anfangs struggle in the top of the third inning carried over into the top of the fourth inning, where the right hander gave up three hits, but managed to get out of the jam by forcing a 6-4-3 double play.
Anfang faced more trouble in the top of the fifth inning, allowing another Dock Spider to cross home plate. The 5’10” pitcher found his rhythm once again in the sixth and seventh inning, retiring the next six hitters he saw and finishing his night on a high note.
Anfang completed his second outing throwing seven complete innings, allowing just two Dock Spiders to reach base and punching out six hitters, enough to earn the win for his strong performance.
“My changeup was my best off-speed pitch,” Anfang said. “I established it early, then I got my slider going later in the game and ran with that.”
After not receiving any run support through the first four innings, the Lakeshore offense exploded in the bottom of the fifth frame, giving Anfang the insurance he needed to earn Monday night’s victory on the mound.
Combining for five runs on five hits, the Lakeshore lineup batted all nine members, batting around in a crucial inning which plated all five of Lakeshore’s runs on the night. Sam Beers, Nathan Ebersole and Evan Rice loaded the bases for Griffin Doersching, a scary sight for the Dock Spiders.
Doersching drew a walk, cutting the Dock Spider lead in half and continuing the momentum for Jackson Gray. Lakeshore’s 1-2 punch of Doersching and Gray has consistently been an issue for opposing pitchers, proving true Monday night after Gray singled to right field, tying the game up for Lakeshore.
With the bases loaded once again, Justin Olson stepped to the plate and nearly knocked the ball out of the park, unfortunately hitting the ball to the deepest part of Kapco Park. Olson wound up with a bases clearing double, coming just a few inches shy of a grand slam, growing the Lakeshore lead three runs.
Lakeshore finished the night with ten hits, a collective effort from the plate which saw seven of the nine Chinook hitters reach base via base hit.
“It’s what we emphasize after every game. Trying to play the game and have fun the rest of the way. Get some quality work in and take advantage of the reps.”
The 5-2 lead proved to be insurmountable for the Dock Spiders, who despite a ninth inning rally, fell short of making a comeback. Sophomore pitcher Luis Canez shut the door on the Dock Spiders, completing the six out save.
Monday night’s win improved the Chinooks record against the Dock Spiders to 3-8 with a chance at improving their record against Fond du Lac once more.
Lakeshore heads to Fond du Lac Tuesday night playing in their twelfth and final game against the Dock Spiders this summer. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.