Mangrum, Bullpen Lead Woodchucks to Sweep of Chinooks
Another Late Mangrum Hit the Difference in 4-3 Comeback Win
Tim Hackett, Broadcasting Intern
Wausau, Wis.- Stevie Mangrum had tallied at least one hit in each of his first nine Northwoods League games this summer, but was in danger of going hitless for the first time Thursday night. But instead, he stepped up to bat in the seventh inning and smacked a two-run double that put his team up by a run – a lead they would not relinquish. The Wisconsin Woodchucks (4-6) picked up their second straight win with a 4-3 victory, sending the Lakeshore Chinooks (3-7) to their sixth straight loss.
The visitors struck first against Chucks starter Eli Baez. Two men reached in the first and Nick Gatewood brought them all home with a three-run blast to right field to put Lakeshore up 3-0. Wisconsin responded in the bottom half when Tristan Clarke reached on an error and scored on a groundout by Mangrum to make it 3-1.
The Chucks continued to chip away against starter Zach Spears. Clarke reached again with two outs in the fifth, and Jackson Owens brought him home with a double to cut the deficit to one.
Spears was solid over six for the Chinooks, but his bullpen could not hold the lead. Nick Campe was the first out of the ‘pen and walked Milton Rivera and gave up a single to Clarke with one out in the seventh. Two batters later, Mangrum stepped up and delivered yet another clutch hit, scoring both runners and putting Wisconsin ahead for the first time.
Baez pitched five solid frames, but the bullpen was the story once again. The Force was clearly with Kevin Bolder on Star Wars Night in Wausau, as he somehow worked around two rocky innings without allowing a run to score. Lenny Gwizdala worked around a two-out double for a scoreless eighth to set the table for closer Orsen Josephina. An error, a walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases with one out, but OJ locked it down, getting Gatewood to line out and Nick Cheema to fly out to end the game.
Bolder picked up his first win of the year with his two innings, while Josephina tallied his league-leading fourth save of the season.
The Woodchucks head back out on the road for a two game set against the Madison Mallards starting Friday night. Kellen Rholl will start for the Chucks as they look to slow a potent Madison offense at 6:35 PM.
Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and the 2017 Northwoods League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, presented by Ascension. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.