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Published On: June 9th, 2024

Mequon, WI — In the top of the ninth inning, pitcher Alex Redman entered from the bullpen for the Lakeshore Chinooks (6-6), who trailed the Green Bay Rockers (3-9) by a run. Against his first batter, a well-hit ball found the glove of a leaping ‘Nooks 2B Ty Wisdom. But two batters later, the Rockers socked a pitch to left field for a 2-RBI double to extend the lead and give them a 9-6 lead. Later in the inning, a 2-RBI triple iced the game for Green Bay, sending Lakeshore to its second loss in a row.

Just like Saturday, the Chinooks fell behind in the top of the first. Green Bay’s Lukas Torres (Wagner) led off the game with a home run against Chinooks starting pitcher Andrew Neill, but Neill retired the next three batters.

Coming out of the pen, Andrew Neill tossed four innings of one-run ball in his first outing and was rewarded with his first start Sunday.

Lakeshore also had a productive first at bat, but with different scoring results. AJ Garcia singled on the first pitch he saw, and Prince Deboskie brought two on with no outs. But a strikeout and two groundouts would strand two runners.

Neill settled into the game in the next three innings with three more strikeouts, giving his offense an opportunity to heat up on the sunny – but very windy – Sunday afternoon.

In the second, the bottom of the Chinooks lineup stranded two more on base.

Lakeshore would finally break through in the bottom of the third. After Deboskie flew out to deep left, 1B Gene Trujillo drew a walk, RF Connor Hennings legged out a single and Chinooks LF Dominic Kibler hit an RBI single to center. The Rockers then made a mental mistake, balking home a run to give the Chinooks a 2-1 lead through three.

Lakeshore kept its foot on the gas in the fourth. With two on and two out, Wisdom knocked an RBI single to right. Trujillo did him one better, absolutely blasting a double off the right field wall for his first extra-base hit as a Chinook. The lead had ballooned to 5-1 for the ‘Nooks.

Green Bay got its balk back in the top of the fifth when Neill tried to pick off a runner at first base. The runner on second then scampered home on a hard-hit single, and Neill walked the next batter. Neill’s final line would show an earned run in each of the first and the fifth to bookend his outing.

The Rockers weren’t done. A sac fly cut the Chinooks’ lead to two and another RBI single cut it to one, but pitcher Adam Switalski was finally able to stop the bleeding and maintain the 5-4 lead.

Neither his outing nor the Lakeshore lead would last long. An infield single and a pitcher error on Switalski chased him from the game and brought in second-year Chinook Arthur Liebau. Immediately, Green Bay hit a 2-RBI triple to left and followed it with an RBI single to center, regaining the advantage.

With the Chinooks down 7-5 in the top of the seventh, and having lost all momentum, Chinooks 3B Billy Scaldeferri made a potentially game-saving catch. He ran down a pop fly in foul territory to help Liebau, who rewarded his effort with a strikeout to end another scoring threat for the Rockers.

Trujillo muscled a broken bat single to right to open the seventh for Lakeshore. Then, with one out, Green Bay’s pitching staff made another costly error, this time a two-base mistake on a pickoff attempt, which Kibler made sure to score on a RBI groundout.

In the top of the eighth with his team still in striking distance, Scaldeferri made another great play as he threw out the Rocker on a bunt attempt, jolting toward the ball with strong instincts.

“[It’s] just staying on my toes and being ready to go wherever,” Scaldeferri said. “At the hot corner, it’s a lot of reacting and you just have to be able to stay low and keep the ball in front of you to make a play.”

The third baseman nearly hit one out to tie the ball game in the bottom of the eighth. Yet as a right-handed batter on a gusty, low-70s afternoon, his drive died in right center field and the Chinooks missed out on a chance to knot the score.

Then came the 2-RBI double, and later, the 2-RBI triple by the Rockers’ Lukas Torres, leaving him just a double shy of the cycle. A wild pitch allowed Green Bay to double up Lakeshore, 12-6, and finish building its insurmountable lead.

Trujillo, though, added a home run to notch his third hit of the day. He fell just a triple shy of the cycle. A power hitter by nature, Trujillo said the team trusted him to create his own offense, giving him more confidence and his second scorched ball of the affair.

“If we see the wind blowing out to right like it did today as a lefty sometimes we’ll try to lift the ball and get it over,” said Kibler, who had 2 RBIs.

Though a 12-7 defeat wasn’t the ideal result, the team now sits at .500 with a 6-6 record and a schedule this week featuring teams that mostly sit below them in the Northwoods League rankings.

Lakeshore gets an opportunity for revenge tomorrow on the road at 6:35 p.m. at Capital Credit Union Park in Green Bay, WI.

Article written by David Jacobs.