Woodchucks Squander Opportunities in Loss to Chinooks

MEQUON, WI – The Wisconsin Woodchucks (9-6) left 12 men on base in a 3-1 loss to the streaking Lakeshore Chinooks (8-7) at Kapco Park Tuesday.

After the Chinooks put two on the board in the bottom of the third, the Woodchucks scored on Antonio Valdez’ bases-loaded walk in the top of the fifth.

Valdez, who was making his first start as a Woodchuck, fouled off four consecutive 3-2 pitches before drawing the walk, trimming the Lakeshore advantage to 2-1.

The Woodchucks, however, would leave the bases loaded and surrender the run right back in the bottom half of the fifth. Starter Tyler Hoeft was pulled after four and 1/3 innings and lefty Shane Telfer worked out of a two-on-one-out jam.

The Chinooks pitching staff, which has now allowed just two runs in their last four games, did not allow a hit until the top of the seventh inning. The Woodchucks drew ten walks on the evening, but only one of them came around to score.

Noah Fitzgerald broke up the no-no with an infield single and Kevin Kilpatrick followed with a base hit. But after Brandon Trammell flied out to the warning track, the Chucks could not advance the runners home from scoring position.

After Harley Gollert pitched a scoreless eighth, the Woodchucks got a leadoff single from Roman Kuntz in the top of the ninth. Brandon Trammell worked a walk to keep the rally alive, but Chinook pitcher Jacob Henderson induced a groundout from Valdez to earn the save.

For the first time all season, the Woodchucks have lost two games in a row. The Chinooks have now won a league-leading fourth game in a row and are one game behind the first-place Woodchucks in the Great Lakes West Division.

Top Performers

Hoeft allowed three runs over four-plus innings, striking out two and walking two. The loss brings his record to 1-1 on the season with a 2.35 ERA.

Telfer pitched two and 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He has not allowed a run through seven and 2/3 innings of work this season.

Kuntz scored the Woodchucks’ lone run after drawing a walk in the fifth inning. He was 1-for-3 on the night.

Trammell drew three walks on the night. His sliding catch in right field robbed a base hit in the second inning.

Noah Fitzgerald reached base for a fourth consecutive game. His diving catch on Chinook third baseman Stephen Hrustich’s line drive in the third inning prevented Lakeshore from adding on to their lead.

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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]