Kenosha, WI – After a thrilling come-from-behind win last night for the Chinooks, it was a bit of a letdown in their matchup against the Kenosha Kingfish. In the third game of the season between the Fish Bowl Series rivals, the Kingfish got their first win against the Chinooks. In what would be a pitcher’s duel for most of the game, Kingfish starter Jacob Gehring pitched his best start of the season. Heading into the game, Gehring had an ERA of 7.63 which made it seem like a favorable matchup for the Chinooks. The Chinooks had Joseph Whitman on the mound with a solid 3.07 ERA.
In a battle between two Big Ten starting pitchers with Gehring attending Ohio State and Whitman at Purdue, Whitman was the first to blink on the mound. There were no runs scored through the first two innings. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Kingfish got runners on the base paths. Parker Stinson and Taylor Darden hit back-to-back singles to get runners on the corners with no outs. Jay Beshears hit an RBI single in his Kingfish debut to drive in Stinson. Ian Collier hit an RBI sac fly right after to extend the Kingfish lead to 2-0. Whitman was able to escape the jam.
Those would be the only two runs Whitman gave up all game. He was excellent in his 6 innings pitched for the Chinooks. Besides the two earned runs, he only allowed 6 hits and threw his season-high of 7 strikeouts. Gehring was outstanding as well. He was in cruise control through his first four innings and had a no-hitter going. Michael Seegers ended the no-hit attempt with the first of his two singles in the top of the 5th. Matthias Haas had the lone extra-base hit for the Chinooks in the 6th, but Gehring didn’t allow him to score. After six innings, it was still 2-0.
Gehring started to lose his momentum in the 7th after Jack Firestone reached on base from a sloppy error. Seegers got his 2nd hit right after that to get Firestone over to 3rd base. Peyton Sanderson did his job by hitting an RBI sac fly to cut into the Kingfish lead and make it 2-1. Even with a not-so-good final inning, Gehring pitched 6.2 innings. He only allowed 1 run, 3 hits, and threw a season-high 9 strikeouts. His electric stuff was too much for the Chinooks offense to handle.
Jackson Reid came in for relief of Whitman, but had some struggles as the Kingfish got two more runs off him and lead 4-1. The Kingfish also had bases loaded with nobody out until Reid struck out the next three hitters to limit the damage. The Chinooks offense was productive as they were able to get the two runs back that they just lost. The Chinooks had runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. John Bay and Stephen Hrustich hit back-to-back RBI groundouts to make it a 4-3 ballgame into the bottom of the 8th.
Unfortunately for the Chinooks, the Kingfish speed was able to create more scoring opportunities. Drake Varnado and Taylor Darden each got stolen bases to help the Kingfish build a 3-run lead heading into the 9th. Firestone reached base again with a leadoff single in the 9th against Kingfish closer Grayson Thurman. That was all the offense could muster in the final inning. Thurman retired the last three batters to give the Kingfish a 6-3 win.
The Chinooks head back home to Moonlight Graham Field at Kapco Park in the last game of the season against the Kingfish. It’s also the last game of the 1st half for the Northwoods League season. The Chinooks will be looking to win 3 out of 4 against Kenosha and finish with a .500 record after Monday night’s game. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.