Fond du Lac, Wisconsin – After a tough first loss of the second half for the Chinooks, the team bounced back in a big way against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. There was not much that the Chinooks could do wrong, but it didn’t look that way for the first inning. Tommy Lamb started for the Chinooks on the mound and had to battle to get past a tough Dock Spiders lineup. The Dock Spiders came up quickly off Lamb with Jackson Loftin starting the night with a walk. The Chinooks defense had their lone error in the first inning.
The error allowed Loftin to reach 3rd base and in scoring position. Kemp Alderman, who just helped Ole Miss win the 2022 College World Series, got an RBI single to drive in Loftin. An early 1-0 lead stretched to 3-0 after Cole Messina singled and Branden Comia hit a 2-run double. Comia was impressive at the plate hitting 3 doubles. It looked like after one inning, Fond du Lac would be extending their seven-game winning streak. Lamb settled down as the Dock Spiders didn’t get a run past in the last eight innings.
The Chinooks bats couldn’t get anything going against Dock Spiders starting pitcher David Hagaman. Hagaman had a no-hitter going through 3 innings until Chinooks All-Star catcher Matt Deprey got a single. The Chinooks didn’t drive in any runs for the first four innings. The rest of the night would be good times for the Chinooks offense. Joey Spence and Stephen Hrustich hit back-to-back doubles in the 5th to cut into the Dock Spiders lead and make it 3-1. The Chinooks added another run in the 6th to get it into a manageable one-run deficit.
Fireworks burst open in the 7th with a massive inning and amazing offensive display. The Chinooks first seven batters in the inning were able to reach base. With bases loaded and nobody out, Jack Firestone got an RBI hit by a pitch and Marcus Cline had an RBI single to give the Chinooks their first lead. The 4-3 lead wouldn’t last long as a wild pitch got one more run in. The Dock Spiders stellar pitching couldn’t do anything right. Aiden Longwell and Garrett Martin had their lone RBIs as well to get it up to 7-3.
Spence and Hrustich came up for their second at-bats in the innings and each drove in an RBI. An 8-run inning is just what the Chinooks needed after the offensive clunker in Friday night’s game. A 10-3 lead heading into the ninth was made possible by the excellent Chinooks pitching staff. After his tough first inning, Lamb pitched three more scoreless innings before handing it off to Jackson Reid in the 5th. Reid also had three scoreless frames with three strikeouts. Luke Llewellyn and Arthur Liebau closed out the Dock Spiders with each getting shutout innings.
Joey Spence slammed his first home run of the season to give the Chinooks one last insurance run in the top of the 9th. A massive 11-3 win got the Chinooks a split in a key series against Fond du Lac. After four games in the 2nd half, Lakeshore is tied atop of the Great Lakes West Division with a 3-1 record. As the Chinooks look to contend for the final playoff spot in the division, it should be a fun race the rest of the summer. The Chinooks head back home tomorrow to Moonlight Graham Field at Kapco Park. First pitch is set for 5:05pm as they will face the Madison Mallards.