In game two of this series, the Lakeshore Chinooks (2-2) looked to end the homestand on a high note. They were able to do that Friday night, defeating the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (1-3) 7-3 at Moonlight Graham Field.
“That’s the pitching performance that we needed based on what’s been going on the past two days,” Lakeshore field manager Trevor Cho said. “The hitters capitalized on the mistakes that (Wisconsin) Rapids made. This offense can do a lot of different things.”
The Chinooks got on the board the first chance they got. In the bottom of the first inning, Avery Owusu-Asiedu drew a one-out walk and stole second base to get into scoring position. Hunter Grimes then hit a sacrifice fly that moved Owusu-Asiedu over to third base.
Joey Spence, who leads Lakeshore in RBIs, earned himself another one as he drove a double into right center field to put the Chinooks up 1-0. Spence advanced to third base on a wild pitch and crossed home plate on a throwing error to extend his team’s lead to two runs.
Cho said that the key to Spence’s offensive success so far this season has been his consistent routine and approach at the plate.
“Of all the hitters, he has the most dialed in routine,” Cho said. “He’s in there every day working on something specific. He’s one of the smarter players I’ve ever coached and if you ever ask him what his plan is, he’s going to have one.”
In the following inning, Lakeshore tacked on two more runs. Adam Cootway reached first base on an error to start the frame. Drew Townsend singled to right field and Cootway was able to advance to third base, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
Grant Ross then hit a one-out single to left field that brought Cootway home. However, Ross was then thrown out while trying to advance to second base. Townsend was able to score from third base on a pass ball, putting Lakeshore ahead 4-0 heading into the third inning.
The Rafters plated one run in the top of the third inning. Chris Conniff drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on an error by the Chinooks’ starting pitcher Blake Kunz. Ty Johnson then hit a two-out single to score Conniff and cut his team’s deficit to three runs.
In the top of the sixth inning, Wisconsin Rapids struck again. Ty Johnson and Luke Hanson hit back-to-back doubles to plate one run for the Rafters. The third consecutive hit was a single from Brendon Bobo that cut the Rafters’ deficit to one run.
Lakeshore pushed another run across in the bottom of the sixth. Townsend drew a two-out walk to begin the frame and reached second base when Roessler hit an infield single.
While Townsend attempted to take third base, the Rafters’ first baseman Jake Gurevitch made a throwing error, allowing him to come home and give the Chinooks a 5-3 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Chinooks continued to add to their lead. Owusu-Asiedu hit a leadoff single and after two outs were recorded, he stole second and third base. A wild pitch would score him and put Lakeshore ahead by three runs.
The Chinooks’ offense kept piling onto their lead in the following inning. To lead off the inning, Cootway and Townsend recorded a triple and double respectively after the Rafters’ outfield lost both balls in the lights, giving the Chinooks a 7-3 lead.
Wisconsin Rapids was unable to come back from the four-run deficit, leading to Lakeshore’s second victory of the final half of the season.
The Chinooks outhit the Rafters 10-7 and stole a total of eight bases on the night. Cootway and Townsend both went 2-for-3 and scored a combined four runs.
Kunz (3-1) got the win for Lakeshore tonight, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven in six innings of work.
The Lakeshore Chinooks will take on the Rockford Rivets (4-1) tomorrow at Rivets Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.