In game one of this home and home series, the Lakeshore Chinooks (8-9) were shutout 3-0 to the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (9-9) Thursday night at Herr-Baker Field. In a classic pitchers dual, Fond du Lac had just enough offense to take this one. This is now the second time in the last three games that Lakeshore has been shutout.
Matthew Mueller got the start for the Chinooks and he struggled to find the strike zone in this one. Mueller walked the first two batters he saw to put two runners on and nobody out. The Dock Spiders took advantage of the free bases and scored on a single to take an early 1-0 lead.
The walks continued to pile up in the bottom of the second for Mueller. After picking up a strikeout, he proceeded to walk the next four batters, including a balk to bring in the game’s second run. That would be it for Mueller, as Ben Whiteside entered the game with one out and a couple runners on.
Mueller only went 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on one hit and six walks. Location has been something Mueller has struggled to be consistent with this season. The command has limited his chances of going deep into games, and that continued again tonight.
Fortunately for the Chinooks, Whiteside was able to get a huge double play on a comebacker to the mound to limit the damage and keep the game close at 2-0.
Joesph Chavana was dominant on the mound today for Fond du Lac. Chavana went 7.0 innings, not allowing any runs on four hits and seven strikeouts. He kept the Lakeshore hitters off balance all game long and the Chinooks had no answers.
The Chinooks had their best chance to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning. Jack Counsell walked and Drew Townsend singled to put two runners on and nobody out. Then, a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance into scoring position.
However, Chavana got the next two batters to strikeout and Joey Spence grounded out to end the threat. So, no damage was done and the score remained 2-0.
The Dock Spiders loaded the bases on a single and two walks in the bottom of the seventh, and Whiteside’s night was done. He pitched really well in relief and gave the Chinooks a chance to comeback. Whiteside pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just one run on two hits and six strikeouts.
Fond du Lac was able to add an insurance run on an infield single off of new relief pitcher Evan Jackson to extend the Dock Spider lead to 3-0.
There were eight total hits in this game, four from each team. The walks ended up being the difference in this one as Chinooks’ pitching gave up eleven walks. Sam Hojnar led the way for the Chinooks as he had two of four hits in the game for Lakeshore.
The Lakeshore Chinooks will be back at Moonlight Graham Field tomorrow to host the Dock Spiders. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.