In the final game of the first half of the season, the Lakeshore Chinooks (14-20) fell to the Wausau Woodchucks (20-15) 8-4 Monday night at Moonlight Graham Field.
“It was fun. I enjoyed coming every day, it’s a good group,” Lakeshore field manager Trevor Cho said regarding the first half of the season. “We were thin in terms of total people on the roster on both sides, which didn’t help. It’s not an excuse though and we just made too many errors.”
Lakeshore grabbed an early lead in the second game of this series. Brady Counsell started things off by hitting a one-out single that dropped into center field and Joey Spence put runners on first and second with a single to right field.
Counsell and Spence performed a double steal and Wausau starter Nate Nabholz overthrew second base trying to throw out Spence. This scored Counsell from third and put the Chinooks up 1-0 heading into the second inning.
The Woodchucks were quick to respond with a run of their own. In the top of the third inning, Brady Jurgella reached first on a throwing error and advanced another 90 feet on a groundout. With two outs, Jesse Donohoe roped a double down the right field line, tying up this game 1-1.
Wausau took the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Jurgella reached first for the second time on an infield single. Brennan Holt then doubled to deep left center field, putting runners on second and third with one out. A groundout allowed a run to score and put the Woodchucks in front 2-1.
In the bottom half of the same inning, it was Lakeshore’s turn to take the lead. Will Johannes led off the inning by doubling to right field. Gabe Roessler then singled and advanced to second on the throw home, putting runners on second and third with one out for the Chinooks.
Drew Townsend tied the game up 2-2 by hitting a sacrifice fly that also moved Roessler to third. Nabholz committed his second error of the game by throwing the ball away while trying to pick off Roessler, putting Lakeshore up 3-2.
However, Wausau’s offense would not give up in the following inning. Three singles in a row loaded the bases for the Woodchucks with no outs. Jurgella would come through once again by doubling down the left field line, scoring two runs and putting the visiting team ahead 4-3.
The Woodchucks pushed another run across on a groundout to the left side, extending their lead to two runs and prompting a Lakeshore pitching change.
In the top of the seventh, Wausau plated another run. Colby Wallace doubled to right field to start the inning and moved over to third on a groundout. With two outs, Jake English hit a single to right field to put his team in front 6-3.
Lakeshore tacked on a run in the bottom half of the same inning. Roessler began the frame with a single and Townsend drew a walk to put runners on first and second.
With one out, Hunter Grimes hit a sac fly to move Roessler over to third base. Spence then doubled to right field, making the score 6-4 as the Chinooks still trailed by two runs heading into the eighth inning.
Wausau continued to extend its lead in the following inning. Anthony Mcfarland hit an infield single to lead off the frame. After two quick outs, Wallace tripled to center field to score Mcfarland. Michael Maginnis kept the line moving by dropping a single into right field, putting the Woodchucks up 8-4.
Lakeshore was unable to overcome the four-run deficit as it dropped its final game of the first half of the season. Both Spence and Roessler went 2-for-4 tonight with Spence earning one RBI.
In his first job as a head coach, Cho said that he learns something new every day.
“I’m watching the game just a little bit differently,” Cho said. “The biggest thing for me in what I’ve learned so far is that as much as I want to be in control, the only control that I have is making sure guys are in the right spots to go out there and succeed.”
The Lakeshore Chinooks will start the second half of the season tomorrow night against the Green Bay Rockers at Capital Credit Union Park. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. CST.
“No excuses moving forward,” Cho said. “We’re loaded up (and) have a bunch of guys coming in starting tomorrow. We’re not going to be thin on either side of the ball. We’re in a good spot moving forward from the struggles that we had in the first half.”