Mequon, Wis – The Chinooks faced off against the league-leading Rafters for the second night in a row and the result was a closely matched game of chess that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Pitching was the highlight for both teams as hitters had trouble finding consistency tonight. The Chinooks have proven themselves to be the best answer to Wisconsin Rapids dominance this summer and became the only team so far this year to sweep the Rafters in a two game series.
Xander Rojahn was fantastic starting tonight for the Chinooks. Rojahn collected five strikeouts in the first two innings and finished his night with 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, and 6 SO. Jacob Dillon was next up on the mound for Lakeshore and pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings while striking out two hitters.
The Rafters were the first to get on the board in the top of the second inning. Colin Tuft hit a booming solo HR to left field, breaking the tie and putting Wisconsin Rapids up 1-0. Lakeshore was able to quickly respond in the bottom of the second inning by tacking on a few runs of their own. Michael Seegers and Tony Livermore starting things off with back-to-back singles with no outs. Both runners would take off for a successful double steal, and an errant throw to third base resulted in Seegers tying up the game at 1-1. The Chinooks would add one more run via sacrifice fly by Aiden Longwell which scored Livermore and put Lakeshore ahead 2-1.
The Rafters came back and tied the game in the top of the seventh inning. Colin Tuft came up big for the Rafters again with an RBI single that scored Levi Jensen. Jackson Reid was pitching for Lakeshore and managed to get himself out of a bases loaded jam giving up just the one run. Reid finished the night with 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, and 3 SO.
Lakeshore used the bottom of the eighth inning to score again and put themselves ahead going into the final inning of the game. Newcomer Ty Olejnik hit a single to center which he tried to extend into a double, but was tagged out at second base. Bryce Stober would follow with his own single to center field and quickly advanced to second on a groundout. Tony Livermore drove in Stober on an RBI single to left field which put Lakeshore ahead 3-2.
“Early in the game i felt a couple swings where i was pulling off the ball a little bit…so that at-bat, first pitch i was sitting slider so i moved up in the box last minute and tried to keep my head in there and shoot a ball the other way. And that’s exactly what i did” Livermore said about his go-ahead hit.
Mitch Mueller was called upon to close out the game in the top of the ninth for Lakeshore. Mueller wasted no time, retiring three Rafters hitters in a row to secure the win for the Chinooks. This was also Muellers 3rd save on the season. Mueller finished with 1.0 IP and 3 SO.
Travis Akre has now led Lakeshore to a 10-7 record in the second half of the season and 28-25 overall this summer. The team will face off against the Green Bay Rockers tomorrow in a double-header at home.
“These guys have some grit….they’re going to respond and they have been playing well all year. Its a test, but i know with their efforts the last two nights they’re going to come out and compete tomorrow” Akre said about their upcoming matchup.
Lakeshore will look to continue their win streak and move up in the standings on Wednesday. The first game of the double-header is scheduled for 11:35am with the second game starting at 6:35pm. Both games will be played at Moonlight Graham Field at Kapco Park.