Woodchucks Overcome Chinooks to Earn Split

Road win clinches winning season 

MEQUON, WI – For the first time in seven years, the Wisconsin Woodchucks will finish with a winning record.

Win number 37 of the 2021 season came Sunday in Mequon after a slew of clutch performances helped the Woodchucks edge the Chinooks, 6-4.

A two-out RBI single by Stephen Reid drove in Louie Albrecht and gave the Woodchucks the lead in the top of the ninth inning. A double steal by Reid and Harrison Long added an insurance run one batter later.

Colin Millar pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his first save of the season and cement the victory. Peyton Schofield earned the win after three scoreless frames of relief.

The Woodchucks overcame a 4-3 deficit and now have 15 come-from-behind victories this season.

But early in Sunday’s contest, the Woodchucks played from ahead. Jacob Burke’s two-run single plated Antonio Valdez and Harrison Long in the top of the third. Catalano drove in Burke later in the inning to make it 3-0.

Starting pitcher Cade Denton kept the streaky but inconsistent Lakeshore lineup quiet early in the ballgame. The Chinooks scored double digit runs four times against the Woodchucks this season, including 18 last night.

In the fifth, Lakeshore surged ahead after back-to-back RBI doubles from the top of their lineup. But that was the only inning in which they scored Sunday.

The Woodchucks tied the score on Colton Vincent’s sacrifice fly one inning later. His drive to the left field warning track was plenty deep to drive in Catalano.

Lefty reliever Peyton Schofield struck out five over his three scoreless innings. The future Western Carolina Catamount stranded five runners on base, all of whom were in scoring position. A putout at the plate dodged the threat of a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh.

The win is Schofield’s fifth of the season, placing him second on the team.

A leadoff walk by Albrecht and a sacrifice bunt by Valdez set the stage for Reid’s game-winning RBI. Five of the Woodchucks’ six runs were scored with two outs.

The win means that the Woodchucks and Chinooks split the season series at an even 6-6. Each team won three games in each ballpark.

The Woodchucks improve their overall record to 37-22 while their second half record stands at 16-8. They are tied for first place with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders while holding a three-game lead over the third-place Madison Mallards.

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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.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]