Mequon, WI – The Chinooks made a comeback and took game one of the series against Battle Creek with a Garrett Martin walk-off single to center field with a final score of 4-3 Wednesday.
The Battle Jacks (15-16) of the Great Lakes East scored first taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning starting the continuous hitting of all the gaps in the Chinooks defense. The Battle Jacks Billy Hancock brought in the first run after a double to center field.
Scott Rouse (1-1, 3.24 ERA) got the start on the mound for the Chinooks going five innings while he struck out four batters and allowed three runs on six hits.
Lakeshore (16-15) struggled to find runners aboard after they were making contact but right into the Battle Jacks gloves. The Chinooks reached home in the fourth inning to tie the game at one apiece when Marcus Cline found a gap in the Battle Jacks defense, bringing in the Chinooks first run.
Battle Creek took charge in the top of the fifth as they took the lead on a Chinook error through the legs of the Lakeshore first baseman scoring two runs.
The Chinooks looked to answer back but were sat in order, ending the inning in a 5-4-3 double play, leaving the tying run stranded.
Hayden Birdsong (2-0, 4.11 ERA) came into pitch for the Chinooks in the top of the sixth inning and sat the Battle Jacks down with six consecutive strikeouts, giving the Chinooks momentum. Birdsong went three innings with seven strikeouts, allowing no runs on one hit.
“Honestly my body didn’t feel as good as I thought it was going to, but I was just like you know what let them hit it, see what happens and they ended up not hitting it…it just kind of…cruised from there,” said Birdsong.
The Chinooks’ Matthew Deprey continued with the momentum as the fog rolled in and made it a one run ball game sending his fourth home run of the season over the left field fence and beyond the backyard patio at Moonlight Graham Field at Kapco Park.
The Battle Jacks continued to suffer under the command of Birdsong as they were sat down in order on strikeouts.
The Chinooks headed into the bottom of the seventh, feeding off Birdsong’s putdown of the Battle Jacks. Battle Creek sent a new pitcher to face Lakeshore, but the Chinooks were not fazed as Peyton Sanderson reached third base on three errors and then scored on a passed ball to tie the game even at three.
Both teams were held hitless in the eighth and ninth innings, marking the Chinooks third home game that has gone into extra innings.
With the pinch runner on second base and the Battle Jacks finding themselves gaining an extra runner on first due to a hit by pitch they were left aboard as the Chinooks pitcher Kanan Butler (2-2, 2.31 ERA) ended the inning striking out the Battle Jacks last three batters.
Butler pitched two innings and added to the solid night of pitching for the Chinooks as he racked up five strikeouts for his season high.
Lakeshores go ahead run stood 90 feet from home as Garret Martin stood in his at bat as the place runner. Matthias Haas advanced to third on a wild pitch followed by the intentionally walked Deprey. With two strikes and no outs, Martin ripped a hard ball on the ground to center field, scoring Haas in a 4-3 walk-off.
“I haven’t had much going for me the last two games and it felt good to get something on the barrel and grind it around to the right spot,” said Martin. “…I think we got a really good team and if we keep showing up and playing well, I think we can beat anyone up here.”
The Chinooks are back home tomorrow to face the Battle Jacks in game two of the series, first pitch at 6:35 p.m.