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Published On: June 8th, 2023

The Lakeshore Chinooks (6-5) used a three-run seventh inning to take game one against the Kalamazoo Growlers (6-5) 4-2 on Thursday night at Homer Stryker Field.

As they’ve done often on the road this season, Lakeshore got out to an early lead in the first inning. Taeg Gollert started things off with a leadoff double and Drew Townsend followed with a walk to put the first two Chinooks hitters on. Cody Kelly brought in the game’s first run with a fielders choice to make it 1-0 Lakeshore.

Ryan Sell (1-1) took the bump tonight for the Chinooks and he delivered big time for Lakeshore. Sell went 6.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits, and striking out three batters. There were multiple instances where Kalamazoo had runners in scoring position that he got out of unharmed.

The first threat was in the bottom of the second inning as the Growlers loaded the bases with one out. Sell got out of it with a ground-ball double-play that ended the inning and kept the score at 1-0 in favor of the Chinooks.

In the third, the Growlers put another runner in scoring position with less than two outs, but a big strikeout and groundout left the runner stranded at third base.

The offense started to come alive for Lakeshore in the top of the seventh courtesy of the long ball. Cody Kelly smashed a home run to right field to leadoff the inning, the first by a Chinook this season. Then, after Jared Everson reached on an error, Ben Hefel hit a two-run no doubt home run to left center, scoring Everson, and extending the Chinooks lead to 4-0.

The Growlers responded with their first run of the game in the bottom half of the inning on a wild pitch from Sell, cutting the Chinook lead to 4-1. That would be the end of the night for Sell as Nick Yeager relieved him with two-outs in the seventh. Yeager struck out the first batter he saw to end the inning.

Kalamazoo made things interesting in the ninth as they tacked on another run via an RBI single to make it 4-2 Chinooks. The Growlers loaded the bases with the tying run on second, but James Reese came into the game and got the final batter to fly out and put the Chinooks back above .500.

Cody Kelly and Ben Hefel led the way for the Chinooks, each recording a home run and two RBI’s in the game.

The Chinooks and Growlers will meet again tomorrow at Homer Stryker Field for game two of this series. Lakeshore is looking for their second sweep of the season. First pitch is set for 5:35 p.m. CST.