Mequon, Wis.- The Wisconsin Woodchucks put up 12 runs on 20 hits Monday night in Wausau. Tuesday in Mequon they could only manage four of each, and a nine-run second inning from the Lakeshore Chinooks (22-20; 4-3) was enough to propel them to a 9-4 win over the Woodchucks (17-25; 2-5) Tuesday at Kapco Park.
Chucks starter Kellen Rholl threw a very high quality start last time out against Fond du Lac, but his outing today was not quite as good. He walked the first two men he faced but got Nick Gatewood to hit into a double play and got Rylan Thomas to ground out to get out of the first unscathed.
The next inning would not go so well. Owen Miller walked to kick things off and Jacob Richardson followed with a single. Tim DalPorto reached on an error to bring home Miller and Rholl struck out Caleb Dean, but then the floodgates opened up. The next two men singled to load the bases with one out, and Joe Duncan blasted a ball over the left field wall for a grand slam, the second surrendered by the Chucks this year. The next three men all reached and scored, and Rholl finally got the second out on a DalPorto RBI groundout, but he could not get out of the inning. He walked Dean to load the bases and then Drake Lubin walked to force another run in. Rholl’s day came to an end, and Erik Gutierrez entered and got Matthew Mika to fly out to finally end the frame.
Meanwhile, Chinooks starter Cole Gnetz was working on a no-hitter through four, but the Chucks finally broke through in a big way in the fifth. Trey Dawson led off with a walk and Tristan Clarke and Ivan Nunez both singled to load the bases with one out. Stevie Mangrum drew a walk from Gnetz to force home Dawson, but the Chucks were just getting started. Alex McIntosh entered and served up a 2-RBI single to Brylie Ware and a sac fly to Logan Foster, and the Chucks were within five after five.
They would get no closer. Gutierrez was fantastic again, at one point retiring ten in a row to get through 5.1 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just three baserunners and struck out two, and he and Daniel Sprinkle, who threw a scoreless eighth, gave their offense a chance to come back.
But they could not. After McIntosh allowed three of Gnetz’ runs to score in the fifth, he locked it down for 2.2 shutout innings, and Parker Sanburn tossed two of his own to lock down the 9-4 Lakeshore win.
This season-long six-game road trip continues Wednesday in Mequon as the Woodchucks look for revenge against the Chinooks. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM.