Mequon, WI – The Chinooks hosted the visiting Mallards on a windy day which featured light rain. Lakeshore had a little something extra to play for as the Sunday day game was played on June 11th which happened to be their mascot Gill’s birthday. Blake Kunz got his second start of the year throwing 96 pitches, seven strikeouts, and allowing one earned run in six innings of work. Both teams entered the game at (6-7) on the year with the Chinooks being 2-3 in their previous five games including a loss against the Mallards on Saturday night by a score of 4-5 which ended with a Mallard walk off courtesy of Keenan Taylor. This was game one of a four game home stand for the Chinooks as they look to gain ground in the Great Lakes West Division.
Both pitchers worked quickly through the first two innings but it was the Mallards who struck first in the top half of the third when Jack Tucker got on base with a bunt. From there, Tucker advanced to second on a Mike Gupton ground out. Yet, Tucker was not done quite yet as he advanced to third off a botched pick off attempt that ended with Tucker on third and the ball in the outfield. Jake Holcroft finished things off with an RBI groundout that allowed Tucked to score making the game 1-0 in favor of the visiting Mallards.
The Mallards tacked on another run in the top of the fourth inning. Owen Jackson, the Mallards designated hitter got to first safely after a diving attempt by Chinooks second baseman Nate Mieszkowski which ended with a single for Jackson. Two batters later, Estevan Moreno cracked a triple into deep right center allowing Jackson to score from first.
Kunz had his day end after the sixth inning when reliever Caden Morton entered the game. Kunz had another productive start and is starting to become a pitcher that Trevor Cho and the Chinooks have big time confidence in.
“There is a lot of confidence there. I don’t think it took me until the end of the day to discover there is a lot of confidence there. He’s a guy that does things right, we’re going to have a chance to win every single game that he’s out there,” said Field Manager, Trevor Cho.
For the Mallards, it was all Josh Wintroub through the first six innings of the game. Wintroup, the starting pitcher for the opposing Mallards, threw an impressive 71 pitches allowing zero hits, five punch outs, and walking only one batter.
”He was sticking with mostly fastballs and he was blowing it by us,” said Cho.
Wintroub was replaced on the mound by Cameron Clines who allowed the first Chinooks hit of the game to Josh Overbeek in the bottom of the seventh.
Madison extended their lead by two runs in the top of the eighth to go up by a score of 4-0. But all hope was not lost for the Chinooks as they showed some fight in the bottom of the ninth. Nicholas Argento was on the mound for the Mallards and got the inning started with by getting the first two batters out. With the game being one out away from being over, the Chinooks dug deep and battled to the end. Argento walked the next three Chinooks batters to load the bases. A bobbled catch by Mallard’s first basemen, Jake Goolsby allowed Josh Overbeek to score and Will Johannes to reach first. Now, down 4-1, Adam Cootway stepped up to bat for the Chinooks poised to make a big time play. Cootway hit a ball deep to right center that almost certainly would have been a triple if it wasn’t for a diving catch by Mallards CF Jake Holcroft that ultimately ended the game. It was a fantastic catch that no doubt left Chinooks fans and players wondering what-if that ball dropped down? However, baseball isn’t a game that cares about what-ifs and this will go down as a loss for the Chinooks who fall to (6-8) on the year.
The weather was a factor in today’s game and may have slowed down the Chinooks offense. Cho had this to say on weather or not the wind and rain changed the Chinooks approach to the game, “yea it does, I think you split that into two different things. The first one is mentally, and I told the guys before the game that obviously it’s cold out, it’s windy, it’s rainy, but we have zero control over that,” said Cho.
The Chinooks lost the game today because their offense did not do enough for them to win. However, there were plenty of positives to look at in this game. Blake Kunz had a productive day, Gabe Roessler made plenty of plays at shortstop, and lastly, the Chinooks played hard all the way until their last out.
The Chinooks continue their four game home stand with a game against the Wisconsin Rapid Rafters on Monday, with first pitch being set for 6:35 pm CST.