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Chinooks Lose to Woodchucks, 8-5

Mequon, Wisconsin – The Chinooks and Woodchucks took part in another even matchup between two teams in the middle of a big playoff race. Heading into Thursday night’s game, the Chinooks trailed the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders by two games in the overall standings for the final playoff spot. The Woodchucks were a game back of the Chinooks and three games behind the Dock Spiders. This game would become more crucial as the Dock Spiders lost their game to Green Bay. A chance to cut into the deficit was up for grabs.

Both offenses punched through with a scoring output early in the game with each getting two runs in the 1st inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Chase Hug and Tyler Cox started the Woodchucks game with back-to-back RBI groundouts. An early 2-0 lead for the Woodchucks didn’t last long. In the bottom half of the inning, Michael Seegers scored the Chinooks first run after Andy Nelson reached base on an error. Stephen Hrustich would eventually drive in Nelson to tie up the game 2-2.

The Chinooks offense stayed on fire in the 2nd inning. Bryant Diel lead things off with a double and Michael Seegers drove in Diel on a base hit. The Woodchucks center fielder Maurice Gomez misplayed the ball as it went under his glove. Seegers used his swift speed to run all around the bases and score a run on his hit. He also had two stolen bases during the game to give him 29 for the season. This is the new single-season Chinooks stolen base record in the 10-year franchise history.

The Woodchucks got back on the board in the top of the 4th. Elie Kingman got his only RBI of the day on a single that scored Gomez in. A crucial hit brought life back to the Woodchucks and a one-run ballgame. In the 5th, the Woodchucks had some of their speed to get the game-tying run. Garrett Hill beat out an infield single and during the throw, Tyler Cox was able to get around 3rd and make it safely home. A smart play by Cox gave the Woodchucks an important run deeper into the game.

Heading into the 6th inning, the Chinooks took the lead back. Back-to-back walks with Andy Nelson getting hit by a pitch and Nathan Aide with the traditional walk had the Chinooks back in business. Joey Spence hit a clutch RBI single that gave the Chinooks their last lead. They couldn’t feed off of Spence’s big-time hit and the Woodchucks made their comeback. No runs occurred in the 7th inning, but in the 8th the Woodchucks took control. Chinooks pitcher Luke Llewellyn gave up three straight walks to give bases loaded with 0 outs.

Jacob Dillion came in for relief, but he couldn’t get out of the jam. JC Ng got a game-tying RBI single and a wild pitch scored the leading run to make it a 6-5 lead for the Woodchucks. Some more insurance runs in the inning took place. Chase Hug hit an RBI sac fly and Tyler Cox followed that up with an RBI single. An 8-5 deficit was too much for the Chinooks to overcome as they lost their second straight game.

The Chinooks are now 13-13 in the 2nd half of the season. Their overall record drops to .500 as well with a 31-31 record. They still trail the Dock Spiders by two games in the overall standings, but the Woodchucks are tied with them now. The teams meet again in game two of the series Friday night. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm at Moonlight Graham Field at Kapco Park.