By: Garrett FitzGerald
In the first game of a two-game series with the Wisconsin Woodchucks, the Chinooks recently hot offense showed up too late for a comeback. In four of their last six games, the Chinooks have scored at least five runs; scoring at least nine in three of those games. The Chinooks’ offense manufactured no runs through six, but found their footing in the seventh, putting three runs on the board.
JD Davis was lights out on the mound, allowing no earned runs through seven innings and striking out seven for the Woodchucks. Davis struck fear into the crowd at Kapco Park in the 2nd and 3rd innings by striking out four of the six batters faced.
Nick Soldano (North Park) started the game for the Chinooks. While on the mound he went six innings, giving up eight hits, allowing five runs, walking one, and striking out two. His numbers were marred in the 3nd inning where he gave up a three run homer over the left field wall to Skyler Ewing on the first pitch he saw.
Ewing began his run production in the 1st inning where he hit a sac-fly to right centerfield to score Brad McKewon to put up the first run of the game.
The Woodchucks weren’t content with their 4 run lead going into the 4th so to increase the lead Mike Bernal hit a sac-fly to deep right centerfield to score Madison Carter from 3rd and increase the lead to 5-0.
The Chinooks offense looked to be turning the corner in the 4th with the bases loaded and no outs. However, they failed to score a single run with a strikeout and two consecutive pop-outs to end the inning and strand three.
The offense finally broke through in the bottom of the 7th inning with three runs put on the board. Matt Morse (UAB) hit an RBI single to the shortstop who fumbled the pickup, allowing Connor Lynch (G.A. Tech) to score the first run for the Chinooks. Bre Kimbell (Louisiana Tech) connected on a pitch down the right field line to score Scott Wilcox (W. Kentucky) and Morse, and bring the score to 5-3.
Jason Hoppe (Mankato State) made his debut on the mound in the 7th inning for the Chinooks. He went two innings, giving up one run on one hit.
The Woodchucks would squeeze out one more run in the 8th to set the winning number at six runs.
Ryan Harris (Florida) closed for the Chinooks and allowed no hits and struck out one to give the Chinooks a chance in the bottom of the 9th.
Zack Granite (Seton Hall) pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th and scored from second base on an error by the Woodchucks’ shortstop which allowed Forrest Chadwick (Southern Maine) to reach 3rd base on his line drive to centerfield. Granite’s run cut the lead to 6-4. The Chinooks gave themselves a chance to win in the 9th as they loaded the bases with two outs but were unable to capitalize with a Charlie Markson (Notre Dame) pop out to second base.
The Chinooks spoiled an opportunity to return to the .500 mark. They currently stand at 15-17, two games behind the Woodchucks for third place in the South Division.