Mequon, Wisconsin – The Chinooks went into Saturday night’s game looking to extend their 3-game winning streak against the Wausau Woodchucks. An impressive 7-3 start to the second half has made the Chinooks a contender for the final playoff spot in the Great Lakes West Division. Wausau entered the game tied with the Chinooks in the standings, but trailed Wisconsin Rapids as well. It looked like the Chinooks had all the momentum going for them and would be able to get into second place alone. The Chinooks had the lead for the first 8.2 innings, but unfortunately, they couldn’t get the job done.
Tommy Lamb had a good outing on the mound starting for the Chinooks. The Woodchucks offense didn’t get anything off him for the first two innings as it looked like Lamb could potentially go far in the game. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Chinooks were able to score first thanks to Caden Kaiser and Stephen Hrustich. Kaiser got on base with a single and used his speed to steal two bases. He was able to make it to third base safely and Hrustich drove Kaiser in on an RBI sac fly. An early 1-0 lead would be gone quickly.
At the top of the third was when Lamb showed signs of regression. The Woodchucks got a baserunner on when Brock Watkins came up to the plate. The BYU product smoked a 2-run homer off Lamb to give the Woodchucks their first lead of the night at 2-1. The bottom of the third would be the last time the Chinooks offense could produce any more runs. Jack Firestone started off the inning with a single and Tony Livermore was able to reach base. The Chinooks drove in three straight RBIs, all singles by Matt Deprey, Caden Kaiser, and Garrett Martin. The heart of the Chinooks lineup came up big but wasn’t able to get the crucial hit the rest of the game.
Hayden Birdsong came in relief for Lamb in the 4th inning. This was his first appearance since June 29th and he battled his way through two innings pitched. In the fifth inning, Birdsong couldn’t find the plate. He gave up three walks that led to bases loaded for Wausau. Ryan Sepede got an RBI bases-loaded walk to make it a 4-3 game. George Klassen had his A-game going for the Chinooks giving up no runs in his two innings of relief pitching. The flamethrower also had three strikeouts.
There was not much action between either offense for the next couple of innings. In the top of the 9th, Tim Baird looked ready to close out the Woodchucks with a 2-inning save. Baird was able to get two quick outs in the inning, but gave up a walk that was the potential game-tying runner. Zach Levenson made sure the Woodchucks wouldn’t be done yet as he hit an RBI triple that tied the game 4-4.
Baird seemed to lose it all after that hit. A wild pitch got Levenson in to give the Woodchuck the lead again at 5-4. Baird had no more command as Ryan Sepede and Chase Hug both walked. The final nail in the coffin for a Woodhchucks victory was made by Nik Levensteins. A clutch 3-run homer gave the Woodchucks additional insurance runs that took the Chinooks out of the game. The bottom of the 9th was a 1-2-3 inning as the Chinooks had to deal with potentially their most deflating loss of the season.
The Chinooks look to split the two-game series and tie the Woodchucks again in the standings. These two teams meet again on Sunday afternoon at Moonlight Graham Field at Kapco Park. First pitch is set for 1:35 pm.