The Lakeshore Chinooks (11-21) took on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (18-13) Monday night at Moonlight Graham Field. The Chinooks fell into an early 5-0 deficit and couldn’t catch up in a 7-1 loss to the Rafters. This marks the sixth straight loss for the Chinooks.
Northwoods League All-Star Calen Graham got the start for the Rafters. He kept the Lakeshore bats quiet in this one. Graham went five scoreless innings on just four hits, and recorded five strikeouts.
“I thought he was locating very well. (We) were swinging under some stuff that looked pretty good, but he was able to locate it and just be better overall. He was a good pitcher that was able to command the zone and throw a lot of strikes which is what you want out of your pitcher,” said designated hitter Adam Cootway.
Lakeshore starter Logan Dobberstein found himself in some trouble with his command in the top of the second inning. A walk and a hit by pitch put two runners on with nobody out.
The Rafters would make him pay as David Smigelski hit an RBI-double into the left center gap to give Wisconsin Rapids the early 1-0 lead. A fielder’s choice brought in another run for the Rafters to make it 2-0.
The Rafters offense showed no signs of slowing down in this frame. Jack Gifford hit a RBI-double to the right field wall to extend the lead to three.
Ty Johnson followed that with a two-RBI double of his own for the third extra base hit of the inning, increasing the Rafter lead to 5-0.
Wisconsin Rapids grabbed another run in the top of third on a sac fly to make it 6-0.
The Chinooks first sign of offense came in the bottom of third on a two-out triple by Sam Vomhof. Nothing would come of it though as Drew Townsend flied out in foul territory to end the frame.
It looked like Lakeshore would be able to finally get on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Will Johannes and Jack Meyer both produced one-out singles to put two runners on. Yet, a groundout and a fly out ended the threat.
Logan Dobberstein exited the game for Evan Jackson with two-outs in the top of the seventh. Outside of the one bad inning, he pitched well for Lakeshore. Dobberstein went 6.2 innings, allowing six runs on three hits, and five of the six runs all came in the second inning.
The Rafters tacked on one more in the top of the eighth on a sac fly to center to make it 7-0 in favor of Wisconsin Rapids.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Chinooks would finally get on the board. Sam Hojnar hit a solo home run to right to end the shutout, and the score was now 7-1.
However, that would not be enough to overcome the deficit as the Chinooks dropped their sixth straight game.
“I think we got to make more timely hits and that just comes with playing. I think we got to be more confident in finding our pitches and not swinging or chasing at things that isn’t what we are going up to the plate for.”
The Chinooks lost this game despite out-hitting the Rafters 8-4. Sam Hojnar led the way for Lakeshore, going 2-for-3 including a triple.
The Lakeshore Chinooks and Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will face off again tomorrow night at Moonlight Graham Field. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CST.