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Published On: July 2nd, 2023

In a game where the Chinooks had nothing to lose and Wausau had everything to lose, the Lakeshore Chinooks (14-19) defeated the then first place Wausau Woodchucks (19-15) 7-6 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Moonlight Graham Field. Wausau needed to sweep Lakeshore and hope for a Wisconsin Rapids loss in the final two games to win the first half division crown, but the Chinooks ended any hope of that happening. 

The Chinooks were able to maneuver out of trouble early in this one. After getting a quick out to start the first, Lakeshore starter Nick Yeager gave up a walk and hit by pitch to put two runners on. Yet, Yeager was able to get out of the early jam with a strikeout and groundout. 

Just as they did last night, the Chinooks, however, would take advantage of their opportunity in the first. Grant Ross drew a walk to lead things off and reached third after stealing second and third. After getting the night off yesterday, Hunter Grimes brought in the game’s first run on a sac fly to left, making the score 1-0 Chinooks.

Yeager found himself in some trouble again in the top of the second. He walked three batters in the inning to load the bases with two-outs. Fortunately for Lakeshore, Yeager was able to get out of it again on a fly out to center, keeping the score locked at 1-0.

Lakeshore threatened to add on to the lead again in the bottom of the second. Cody Kelly started things off with a double, and a fielder’s choice from Overbeek advanced Kelly to third. Then, Drew Townsend drew a one-out walk to put two runners on. Though, the Chinooks were unable to capitalize after a couple infield groundouts to end the frame.

In the top of the third, a leadoff walk would finally come back to hurt Yeager. The Woodchucks took their first lead of the day with a two-RBI double from Colby Wallace. Then, Jake English delivered a double down the left field line to make it 3-1 Woodchucks, and that would be it for Yeager. 

Woodchuck starter Logan Danzeisen struggled to find the strike zone himself in the bottom of the fourth. He loaded the bases due to two walks and a hit by pitch. His afternoon was done after he walked Jared Everson to bring in a run, and the Wausau lead was cut to 3-2. The Chinooks would tie the game up at three a piece without recording a hit on an RBI fielder’s choice from Gabe Roessler. 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Chinooks would take the lead back. Cody Kelly continued his hot bat as of late with an RBI single down the right field line to put Lakeshore back in front 4-3, his second hit of the game.

However, that lead would not last long for Lakeshore. An error by Slome and a single from Dalton Pearson put two runners on. Jesse Donohoe then stepped up to the plate and hit a line drive to center on a ball that could’ve been caught by center fielder Roessler but he tripped and the ball got past him for a two-RBI double, giving Wausau the lead back at 5-4. The Woodchucks tacked on another courtesy of an RBI fielder’s choice to extend the lead to 6-4 in the sixth. 

In the bottom of the frame, Brady Counsell got a run back for Lakeshore on an RBI fielder’s choice, bringing the deficit to one at 6-5. 

The Chinooks have been a team that has responded time and time again. In the bottom of the eighth, Drew Twonsend reached base on an error to start the rally. Adam Cootway, one of the hottest hitters on the team, delivered again on a double down the right field line that the right fielder lost in the sun. With runners on second and third, Gabe Roessler did his job again by tying the game up at 6-6 on a fielder’s choice.

Grant Ross proceeded to groundout and that put two away with Cootway still at third. Then, Brady Counsell stepped up with a clutch RBI double to put the Chinooks in front 7-6 going into the ninth.

“Those are the at-bats that you live for, and that’s the one play that’s going to make everyone want to come back tomorrow. That’s just a fun moment because Brady has come in here and done everything right, so I’m glad he gets a moment like that,” said Field Manager Trevor Cho.

James Reese came in to close this one out and give the Chinooks their fourteenth win of the season.

Evan Jackson (W, 1-0) got the win in relief for Lakeshore in only his second appearance of the season.

The Chinooks will go for the sweep tomorrow against the Woodchucks and look to end the first half on a positive note. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.