Mika, Duncan homer Chinooks past Woodchucks
In their two games against Kalamazoo this weekend, the Wisconsin Woodchucks totaled two runs on 11 hits, none of which went for extra bases. They had scored four runs total in their previous three games. Monday night in Mequon, the Chucks put up five runs on 12 hits, including thee extra-base hits, but it was not enough. Against one of the best offenses in the league in the Lakeshore Chinooks (36-30; 18-13) an early deficit was too much for the Woodchucks (24-43; 9-23) to overcome in a 7-5 loss, the team’s fourth in a row and 11th in the past 12 games.
Brad Schwind had been solid over his first two Woodchucks appearances and was called upon to start Monday in Mequon. Things didn’t go well for him early. Jack Dunn led off the first with a single and Joe Duncan followed with a two-run shot to left, his sixth homer of the year and third against Wisconsin, to put the home team up 2-0. Three pitches later, Matthew Mika also homered to left, his fifth of the season, to increase the lead to three. Rylan Thomas then singled but Schwind locked it down, retiring the next nine hitters he faced.
Lakeshore finally got back to it in the fourth. Tim DalPorto led off with a walk and the Chinooks loaded the bases with nobody out, but Schwind limited the damage as much as possible, with only one run coming home on a fielder’s choice hit into by Charley Hesse.
Wisconsin had gotten baserunners in each of the first four innings against Lakeshore starter Aaron Winkler, and they finally turned that into runs in the fifth. Adonis Lao led off with a walk and Mike Ferri reached on an infield single, and Hunter Coleman brought everyone home with a mammoth home run to left, his first of the year, to bring Wisconsin within just one.
Lakeshore soon extended its lead again. Duncan led off the fifth with a walk against Schwind and Brogan Briggs came in to shut the door. Instead, Mika doubled and Duncan scored on a botched relay and Thomas followed with a single. Lakeshore executed a double steal perfectly to move Thomas to second and bring Mika home, and Drake Lubin singled in Thomas to make it 7-3 Chinooks.
But the Woodchucks didn’t go quietly. Briggs shut down seven in a row after Lubin’s hit and Jake Gross issued a perfect eighth to give the offense a chance to come back, and they nearly did. Lao and Caeden Harris led off the seventh with singles against Winkler. Ferri followed by hitting into a double play, but Lao moved to third on the play and scored a double down the left-field line by Logan Foster.
Trey Dawson manufactured a run for Wisconsin in the eighth, hustling to turn a single into a double to lead off before beating out a throw to third on a Chad Fleischman flyout. Jordan Santos stepped in and singled Dawson home to make it 7-5 Lakeshore, and Wisconsin threatened to tie it up in the ninth. Against closer Joe Heineman, Harris got on after an error and Foster singled to put two on, but Coleman lined out and Dawson was controversially called out on a low strike to end the ballgame, sealing a crucial 7-5 win for the Chinooks.
Both teams have Tuesday off as a host of Woodchucks will head to the capital city to take part in the 2017 Major League Dreams Showcase in Madison. Wisconsin and Lakeshore will duke it out once more Wednesday night in the season series finale, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 PM.
Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and can be purchased online by calling 715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.