By Shereen Siewert
The Wisconsin Woodchucks swept the Lakeshore Chinooks in a Sunday marathon filled with dramatic hits.
The Woodchucks got off to a fast start. TJ Reeves hit his second lead-off home run of the year, giving the Woodchucks an immediate 1-0 lead. A couple of singles and a walk later, the bases were loaded for Kaeber Rog. He hit a ball to the warning track, just barely missing out on a grand slam. It was good enough for a sacrifice fly, scoring Adam Frank. Peyton Nelson then came up and singled, scoring Santino Miozzi from third base. The Chucks went into the bottom of the first ining leading 3-0.
The Chinooks had an answer in the bottom half of the inning. Starting pitcher Jose Varela got into a little trouble early, throwing a couple wild pitches and walking three batters. A wild pitch allowed Cole Barr to score, and later in the inning, the Chinooks got a fielder’s choice to score another. The score heading into the second inning was 3-2 Chucks.
TJ Reeves answered right back. He hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning, his second of the game, to extend the Woodchucks lead to 4-2.
Troy Black then decided to join the fun. The Chinooks third basemen led off the bottom of the second with a home run, making the Woodchuck lead 4-3.
The Woodchucks got back to business in the fifth. Cam Swanger led off the inning by reaching on a dropped third strike, and Kaeber Rog singled and made it to second base. Peyton Nelson then ripped a double to score both of them and make it a 6-3 game. Nelson then tried to steal third, and the throw went into left field. That allowed Nelson to score. Alec Arnone then doubled, followed by an Alejandro Gonzalez double to score Alec. This made it 8-3 without an out being recorded.
A weather delay caused the game to be postponed until Sunday morning, where play resumed in the bottom of the 5th inning. A 7-inning game was to follow afterward.
When the game resumed the next day, Nick Vanderhoef took over for Varela. In his first inning of work, he gave up a couple of singles and walks, allowing the Chinooks to score one run. Going into the sixth, the score was 8-4 Chucks.
Alec Arnone added some insurance for the squad in the ninth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Arnone singled into left field for his third hit of the game, scoring Kaeber Rog and extending the Woodchucks lead to 9-4.
Nick Vanderhoef was lights out to finish the game off. He retired the final ten Chinooks to take the plate and picked up his first win of the year. The final score in game one was 9-4, Woodchucks.
The teams then moved on to the second game. Starter Beau Nichols got into a little bit of trouble early, giving up three hits in the first inning, including an RBI double to Trent Bauer. As we went to the second inning, Lakeshore had a 2-0 lead.
The Woodchucks answered immediately. Lawrence Cicileo started off the inning with a single, followed by an Alec Arnone walk. After Kyle Simmons advanced the runners, Alejandro Gonzalez brought both runners in with a single. Gonzalez then stole a couple of bases, and Brandon Seltzer brought him in shortly after. The Chucks had taken the lead at 3-2.
The Chucks got back to business in the third. Byron Murray led it off with a walk, and then stole second base. Cameron Swanger then doubled to score him. Cicileo followed that up with a single to put Swanger on third. Alec Arnone then brought him home with a sacrifice fly. A couple base hits and a walk later, Brandon Seltzer came up with the bases loaded. He drew a walk and picked up his second RBI of the game while making the score 6-2.
After giving up a few runs in the first inning, Nichols settled into a nice groove. Through five innings, he had only allowed those two runs and had struck out six batters.
Scoring resumed in the top of the seventh inning. Arnone and Kyle Simmons both drew walks, and Alejandro Gonzalez came through once again. He ripped a triple into right field and drove in two more runs. Gonzalez finished the day with four RBIs and made the score 8-2.
Lakeshore was able to score a run in the bottom of the seventh but it wasn’t enough. The Woodchucks won game two by a score of 8-3.
Peyton Nelson went 4-5 with a double and three RBIs
TJ Reeves hit two home runs and had two RBIs
Alec Arnone went 3-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.
Nick Vanderhoef went five innings, giving up just one run and striking out three while picking up his first win of the season.
Beau Nichols struck out eight batters in six innings, giving up just four hits and two runs.
Alejandro Gonzalez went 3-4 with a triple and four RBIs.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks will return home on Monday, August 5th. The Chucks will host the Kalamazoo Growlers at 6:35 p.m. with gates opening at 5:35 p.m.