Photo Credit: Jenny Ress
WAUSAU, WI — Clutch hitting, precise pitching and budding stars have driven the 2021 season for the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Heading into their next homestead, the Wisconsin Woodchucks are 9-6 and in first place in the Great Lakes West Division!
Rapid Start to Rivalry Series
Wisconsin has won three of four games against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters to open 2021.
The Chucks’ good fortunes began on opening night May 31. Visiting the rival Rafters at Witter Field, the Woodchucks overcame a 2-0 deficit and two lengthy weather delays to knock off the Rafters 4-3 in 10 innings. A day later at Athletic Park on June 1, the Woodchucks drew 19 walks, batting over .400 as a team in a 16-5 win over Wisconsin Rapids.
And on June 7, once again visiting the Rafters in Wood County, the Comeback ‘Chucks headed home with a thrilling win, once again coming back from 2-0 down, but doing so down to their final strike in the ninth inning. After Kevin Kilpatrick drove in the tying runs with his two-out double, he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error and then scored on a Brandon Trammell double to take it 3-2, a score that held through the final out.
Trammell’s Walkoff Beats Madison
In his first game as a Wisconsin Woodchuck, Brandon Trammell became an instant hero.
After being down 2-0 at one point in the June 2 matchup, the Chucks and Madison Mallards headed to the bottom of the ninth, square at three runs apiece.
After a leadoff walk by Clayton Mehlbauer, Trammell stepped up to the plate and left no doubt who the man of the night would be, launching a two-run home run to left field.
It was the first homer in three games for the Woodchucks, clinching a 3-0 start with the victory.
While Kilpatrick and Trammell have both played the hero role in moments, it’s the pair’s constancy that has buoyed the Woodchucks early in 2021.
Kevin Kilpatrick, pictured alongside assistant coach Johnny Eaton, has slashed .328/.403/.531 through 15 games in 2021. Batting at or near the top of the order every game, he’s provided a stable source of hitting for the Woodchucks.
Among qualifying stat earners, Trammell and Kilpatrick lead the team in OPS, with 1.048 and .934 marks respectively. The two have also combined for five of the Chucks’ seven home runs in 2021, with Kilpatrick having three and Trammell collecting a pair. Kilpatrick’s 16 RBIs lead the Woodchucks, and are good for fourth in the Northwoods League. Trammell’s 10 RBIs are second on the Wausau club.
Woodchucks Tops in Key Pitching Metric
Wisconsin has a league-best 2.57 earned run average.
Among starting pitchers, Ryan Lobus boasts a 1.80 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP over 15 innings pitched. Tyler Hoeft’s ERA sits at 2.35, with a rotation-best 1.04 WHIP in his first 15 and 1/3 frames. His 14 strikeouts are also a team-high.
Out of the bullpen, Shane Telfer and Geo Camfield’s ERAs remain at 0.00. Telfer has pitched seven and 2/3 innings with a WHIP of 1.04 and a .174 batting average against. Meanwhile, Camfield’s WHIP stands at 0.55 with a batting average against of .048. Dante Chirico is currently the Woodchucks’ save leader, taking a 1.74 ERA with him across 10 and 1/3 frames.
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The Wisconsin Woodchucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 27-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.woodchucks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Woodchucks as your favorite team.