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Published On: June 19th, 2022

Mequon, WI – It was a day of celebrations for the Chinooks on Sunday as they came out on top of the Wausau Woodchucks 6-1 on Father’s Day. 

From lights-out pitching, hard hits, and unstoppable defense, all aspects of the Chinooks (9-12) team played a role in the win over the Woodchucks (10-11).

Although the Woodchucks put a run on the board in the first five minutes of the ball game off an RBI single to center field by Hunter Dorraugh, the Chinooks quickly bright themselves ahead of the game leaving the Woodchucks behind. 

The Chinooks found themselves with the bases loaded in the first inning off of a hit and two walks but couldn’t find a way to bring the runners around. 

The second inning was a different story for the Chinooks. They led off with a Kent State duo with Josh Johnson leading off by beating out a grounder to shortstop and Aidan Longwell working a nine-pitch walk to lead into a double steal by the duo. Two RBI infield singles from the Chinooks gave them the lead 2-1 but they weren’t done yet. Matthew Deprey brought in two more runs to take the lead 4-1 off a ground-rule double to right field. Key base running for the Chinooks set them to take a 5-1 lead at the end of the second inning. 

Eric Chalus (1-0, 3.60) the freshman from Kent State got the start on the mound for the Chinooks and a dominant one at that. Chalus went six innings racking up seven strikeouts allowing one run on four hits. 

“Thought we got a really good performance on the mound from Eric Chalus and Birdsong, both of them were really really good today,” said head coach Travis Akre. “Chalus just settled in for his two seamers really working today and was getting some soft contact and he threw really well.” 

With a combination of stellar Chinooks pitching and solid defense the Chinooks kept the Woodchucks from reaching base in the third and fourth innings. With back hand stops from Tony Livermore and back-to-back in order innings the Chinook maintained the momentum. 

Although the Chinooks held control of the game, the Woodchucks worked to keep the Chinooks from gaining a larger lead. 

The Chinooks defense continued to shine on the field. Marcus Cline held the Woodchucks from reaching base in the sixth inning on a leadoff single as he made a diving stop at third base to make the throw to first for the out. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning Longwell sent a long shot over the right field fence into the Fleet Farm Backyard at Moonlight Graham Field to put the Chinooks up 6-1. 

“I just wanted to get a good swing off…new guy coming into the game…just wanted to stand through the middle and get my best swing off,” said Longwell. “We are going to bring the same energy (tomorrow) and do what we did today, have some fun with it and just enjoy the game.”

At the top of the seventh the Chinooks brought in Hayden Birdsong (1-0, 7.56 ERA) from Eastern Illinois University in for relief. Birdsong in his third appearance of the season and second against the Woodchucks finished his three innings pitched with six strikeouts allowing no hits and no runs. 

The Chinooks welcomed a new pitcher to the mound for the Woodchucks as they loaded the bases up from a walk, an infield single, and a line drive to right field. The Chinooks runners were stranded as the last two batters struck out. The Chinooks continue to leave runners stranded as the season goes as they left 10 runners aboard against the Woodchucks. 

The Chinooks will take on the Woodchucks in game two of the series tomorrow at Moonlight Graham Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.