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Published On: July 10th, 2023

After sweeping Rockford, the Lakeshore Chinooks (5-3) followed it up with a dominating 14-4 win over the Kokomo Jackrabbits (2-5) on Monday night at Moonlight Graham Field. This marks three straight wins for the Chinooks, and it is the third time they have done that this season.

Lakeshore wasted no time in this one as they scored right away in the bottom of the first. Josh Overbeek drew a one-out and then an error by the Kokomo shortstop put runners on first and third. Then, Joey Spence smacked an RBI single to right to bring in Overbeek and give the Chinooks an early 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the second inning, the Chinooks would tack on another. Will Johannes crushed a solo home run to left to extend the lead to 2-0, his first of the season.

Hunter Grimes walked and Joey Spence followed with a single to begin the bottom of the third. After two quick outs, WIll Johannes stepped up to the plate again, one inning following his home run, and delivered again for Lakeshore. With two-outs, Johannes ripped a line drive up the middle to bring in two more runs, and the score was now 4-0.

The Chinooks were not done there. Kokomo had trouble fielding all game long as they had a total of five errors in this game. As errors tend to do, it came back to bite them once again. Gabe Roessler hit a ground ball to the Kokomo shortstop and he misplayed it to allow two more Lakeshore runs to score, giving the Chinooks a 6-0 lead.

After three innings of play, the Jackrabbits finally got on the board. Camden Hayslip hit a hard ground ball that went off the face of second baseman Grant Ross and allowed a run to score. Issac Bonner matched with a double of his own to cut the lead to 6-2 in favor of the Chinooks.

However, this game would really open up for Lakeshore in the bottom of the fifth. Brady Counsell singled to left and Johannes walked to get things going again. Trey Becker proceeded to hit a bloop two-RBI single into right to stretch the lead to 8-2. Becker would later score courtesy of an Adam Cootway RBI-single to make it a 9-2 ballgame through five innings of play.

“I think putting up eight or more is going to put us in a really good position to win a game as long as the pitching staff keeps doing what they are doing. I think eight runs is a good target for us, and I think if we get that we got a pretty good chance to secure one,” said Will Johannes.

Kokomo responded again in the top of the sixth. Jack Anderson brought in the third Jackrabbit run on an RBI-single and Lakeshore starter Mitch Alba’s night was done. Zach Slome came into relieve Alba with one out in the frame and got two important outs to end the threat.

Lakeshore put their stamp on this game in the bottom of the eighth. Drew Townsend walked with the bases loaded to bring home the tenth run for the Chinooks. Then, Will Johannes made it a 14-4 game after he hit a monster grand slam to left center for his second home run of the game, capping off an impressive day for the Lakeshore catcher.

“I just tried to stay as loose as possible and I think that’s been working for me. Just being able to see pitches down and not chase has been my problem, so not being be able to do that I think led to a greater amount of my success today,” said Johannes.

The Chinooks outhit the Jackrabbits 10-9 and also walked ten times. Johannes led the Chinooks by going 3-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBI.

Mitch Alba (W, 2-1) got the win for the Chinooks after going 5.1 innings and tossing five strikeouts.

When asked about what needs to be done to keep this momentum going, field manger Trevor Cho kept it simple by saying, “just attack it the same way we’ve been doing it,” said Cho.

The Lakeshore Chinooks will look end this long home stand with a win when they come back to Moonlight Graham Field tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.