07/09/2012 10:00 PM
It is often said that looks can be deceiving. That expression was fitting in more ways than one Monday evening in a 6-5 loss to Wisconsin in Wausau.
The Chinooks certainly have gotten off to a hot start in the second half of their first Northwoods League season, taking two of three games from the first-half champion, the La Crosse Loggers. They were looking to continue their winning ways in the first road contest of the second half, and it got off to a fairly good start.
The Chinooks were able to take advantage of two early Woodchuck errors in the third, when Scott Wilcox (Western Kentucky) hit a hard chopper to the shortstop who misplayed the baseball, allowing both Eric Aguilera (Illinois State) and Ryan Krill (Michigan State) to come around and score. Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) then plated Wilcox to push the lead to three.
Unfortunately, that would turn out to be the only earned run of the contest as the Chinooks bats had no answer for Woodchuck starter Jack Fischer, who allowed just four hits while striking out nine in six strong innings of work.
One of those four hits came in the fourth when Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) laced a double into the gap, allowing Nate Ruzich (South Suburban College) to score all the way from first base.
Wisconsin answered with three runs in the third, thanks to a wild pickoff throw that allowed two runners to score from second and third.
The Woodchucks would eventually chase Chinooks starter Cody Glenn (LSU) from the game in the fifth, when they scored three times without recording an out, thanks in large part to consecutive walks to open the frame.
The Woodchucks bullpen would only allow two more hits through the remaining three frames.
The Chinooks relief pitching was equally, if not more impressive. Not only did Ryan Harris (Florida) get out of Glenn’s mess in the fifth, he would go on to retire all twelve men he faced, recording six punch outs in the process. He was able to keep the Wisconsin hitters off balance with a fastball that recorded 94 on the gun, and a breaking ball as slow as 78 miles per hour.
The Chinooks were able to get the leadoff man on in the eighth and ninth frames, but could not move him past first base.
Game two in the series is tomorrow when Jason Hoppe takes the hill for the Chinooks, a 6:35 start.