The Lakeshore Chinooks (6-9) lost their fourth game in a row in a 5-4 extra inning loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (9-6) on Monday night at Moonlight Graham Field.
Matthew Mueller made his first appearance for the Chinooks and what a first impression he made. Mueller struck out the first six batters he faced, striking out the side in both the first and second inning. He went four innings on zero hits and zero runs, including seven strikeouts in a short amount of work.
Field Manager Trevor Cho had this to say about his performance, “He (Mueller) was striking a lot of people out, it was fun to watch. It’s just good to have him back, he was on a little bit of a pitch count and first time you want to build him up a little bit. We are going to expect that every time he goes out there.’
The Chinooks struck first in this game in the bottom of the second thanks to a Nate Mieszkowski RBI double down the left field line that scored Cootway, who reached on an error to lead off the inning. Jason Schaaf, who also made his first appearance for the Chinooks, smashed a two-RBI double down the right field line to make it 3-0 in favor of Lakeshore.
The Rafters finally got things going in the top of sixth off of relief pitcher Tyler Gall with a leadoff walk and a single, their first hit of the game. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Wisconsin Rapids got on the board on an error by Lakeshore, making the score 3-1. Then, Jack Gurevitch hit a two-RBI double and all of a sudden this game was tied at 3-3. The Rafters would tack on another run on a fielder’s choice to cap off a four-run inning, and take a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
However, Lakeshore didn’t waste time responding in their bottom half of the inning. Josh Overbeek and Jason Schaaf worked two out walks to put two runners on. Chinook shortstop Gabe Roessler stepped up to the plate and delivered a huge two-out hit to tie the game at 4-4 heading into the seventh.
Both teams were unable to score the next three innings, and Lakeshore would find themselves in their first extra inning game of the season. Colin Dailey took the mound in the tenth for Lakeshore. The Rafters started the extra frame by laying down a bunt to advance the runner to third. After a big infield fly out with two runners on and one out, Ty Johnson had the biggest hit of the game with an RBI single that was just out of the reach of second baseman Schaaf to give the Rafters a 5-4 lead. The Chinooks were unable to respond this time and the ballgame was over.
Lakeshore has found themselves on the wrong end of a couple of close losses in the midst of this four-game losing streak. “I wouldn’t change a thing, I want us to go down swinging. I keep telling them that every team goes through this and that it’s baseball and eventually we are going to come out of it,” said Cho.
The Chinooks will look to find themselves back in the win column tomorrow for game two against the Rafters. First pitch at Moonlight Graham Field is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.