Chinooks outlast Woodchucks in 9-2 victory
MEQUON—The Lakeshore Chinooks used a four-run seventh and two-run eighth to pull away from the Wisconsin Woodchucks in a 9-2 victory to seal a split of the two-game series.
After being held scoreless in a 6-0 Woodchucks victory Friday, the Chinooks would score their first run of the series in the bottom of the first. After an Andrew Stevenson leadoff double, Mike Hollenbeck singled to the right side of the infield to drive home Stevenson and put the Chinooks on top 1-0.
The Woodchucks tied things up at one in the top of the third. Ryan Gerber put himself on second base with a lead off double to start the frame for the Woodchucks. Two batters later, Edgar Figueroa singled to right, scoring Gerber to equalize the score.
The tie would not last long as the Chinooks put up two additional runs in the bottom of the inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Hollenbeck picked up his second single and his second RBI of the game, this time bringing Cody Bobbitt in to score. Sawyer Polen would also score on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Krill to give Lakeshore a 3-1 lead.
The Woodchucks would cut back into that lead in the top of the fourth. After Rob Bennie was hit by a pitch and Mike Mierow singled, Gerber dumped a ball into center field. The single brought Bennie home from third and made the score 3-2 in favor of the Chinooks.
Aaron Fossas got the start for the Woodchucks, his first non-relief appearance of the season. Fossas finished five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with a strikeout.
The score would remain 3-2 all the way until the bottom of the seventh. The first two batters, Bobbitt and Stevenson, hit back-to-back home runs to extend the lead to four runs. The Chinooks went on to score two additional unearned runs in the inning, making it a 7-2 ballgame.
The Chinooks went on to tack on two more runs in the eighth, but they would not need them as the Woodchucks went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
Home Runs Not Enough As Express Down Rafters, 11-6
Wisconsin Rapids, WI- Donnie Dewees (North Florida), George Ragsdale (Virginia), and Derek Peake (UW-Milwaukee) all had home runs, but the Eau Claire Express (29-33, 17-11) a massive five-run ninth inning to top the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (28-34, 9-18), 11-6, Saturday night at Witter Field. The loss gives Eau Claire the series split, while finishing up the 10-game set between the two clubs with the Rafters claiming victories by a count of 10 games to four. Wisconsin Rapids is now 2-4 on their current eight-game home stand.
Greg Maisto (Texas A&M) had perhaps his best start of the season, tossing 5 2/3 innings of work, issuing just six hits, but made two big mistakes throughout the evening.
After loading the bases in the third, Jose Vizcaino Jr. (Santa Clara) ripped a two-out bases-clearing double off the left field wall to give the Express the early lead, 3-0.
Dewees and Peake had answers in the fifth after Riley Spetz (UW-Stevens Point) led the inning off with his second base hit of the day. The hit by Spetz was part of a three-hit evening for the freshman, his first of the season. With Spetz on first, Peake launched his first home run of the year on a 0-1 pitch to right field to give the Rafters their first runs of the game and pushed the Rafters within striking distance, 3-2. Ragsdale followed with a single to left, the base hit by Ragsdale extended his current hitting streak to seven games, his longest of the year. Dewees then followed with a home run to center field to give the Rafters the lead, 4-3.
Eau Claire would follow with eight unanswered runs, including a five-run ninth-inning where the Express sent 11 men to plate. The big at-bat of the ninth inning came by Greg Harisis (Santa Clara) when the junior roped a grand slam over the right field wall to push the Express lead, 11-4. The home run by Harisis was part of a two home run and six-RBI night for the junior. Eau Claire would go on to total six hits in the inning, aided in part by a big error by Rafters first baseman, Zack Belanger (LBSU), that allowed the inning to continue.
Anthony Andres (Northern Illinois) relieved Taylor Duree (New Mexico) in the sixth inning and allowed just two base hits in his four innings of work. Andres, though, would be tagged for a two runs in the ninth inning after issuing a walk to Peake and a two-run home run to Ragsdale. The home run by Ragsdale was just his second of the season and gave the freshman his fifth multi-hit game of the season.