The Lakeshore Chinooks (6-6) were three outs away from winning this one, but they couldn’t hold on to another late lead in a 4-3 loss to the Wausau Woodchucks (6-5) Friday night at Athletic Park. The Chinooks have now lost three straight and are 0-4 at Athletic Park this season.
Just as they did last night, Lakeshore got out to an early lead. Grant Ross drew a leadoff walk to begin things in the top of the first. Following a strikeout, Matthew Deprey hit a two-run home run to right field to put the Chinooks up 2-0, his first of the season.
The Woodchucks answered with a home run of their own in the bottom of the second. With one-out, Colby Wallace hit a solo home run to right center to cut the Lakeshore lead to 2-1.
The Chinooks offense tacked on another in the top of the third inning. With one-out, Deprey was hit by a pitch and Joey Spence doubled to put two runners in scoring position for Adam Cootway. Cootway then proceeded to do his job by driving in the run on an RBI fielder’s choice, and the score was now 3-1.
Jason Buhl took the hill for Lakeshore with the tough task of slowing down this Woodchucks offense that can score with the best of them. The lefty was rolling right out the gate by tallying five strikeouts through three innings of work.
After three innings of play in Wausau, the game entered a one-hour rain delay. However, that did not slow down Lakeshore starter Jason Buhl. Buhl picked up right where he left off and continued to shut down this high-powered Wausau offense.
Both teams struggled to find offense after the rain delay. The teams were held scoreless over the next five innings as pitchers on both sides continued to dominate.
Nolan Kahle came into relieve Buhl in the top of the sixth inning and his night was done. Buhl finished with 5.0 innings pitched, allowing only one run on two hits and six strikeouts.
The Woodchucks had their biggest threat of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning against Kahle. A leadoff hit by pitch and single put two runners on with nobody out. Following a couple groundouts, Kahle hit another batter to load the bases with two outs and the tying run at second.
Dj Kojis was called upon out of the bullpen to get the Chinooks out of the jam. Kojis did just that as he got the hitter to groundout to second and keep the Lakeshore lead at two heading into the ninth.
During this losing streak, Lakeshore has been unable to close out games going into the eighth inning or later and it hurt them again today.
Tyler Deleskiewicz was tasked to come in and try to close this one out. After retiring the first batter, three consecutive singles loaded the bases for Wausau and the tying run was at second. Then, a blooper over first baseman Deprey allowed a run to score, and just like that it was a 3-2 game with the tying run on third and the winning run on second. Jesse Donohoe then stepped up and delivered a two-RBI double to give the Woodchucks a 4-3 win and the sweep.
The Chinooks were out hit by the Woodchucks 9-6 with most of those hits coming later in the game. Matthew Deprey led the way for the Chinooks by going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.
The Lakeshore Chinooks look to find their first win on this roadtrip tomorrow at Fond Du Lac. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.