Posted-August 12th, 2013 10:52 pm
Mequon, WI — August 12, 2013. Madison Mallards starter Luke Staub (George Washington) and Lakeshore Chinooks starter Joe Greenfield (Eastern Illinois) were well on their way to a pitcher's duel in Game No. 1 of the Northwoods League South Division Championship Monday night until the bottom of the fourth, when the Chinooks exploded for seven runs and helped them to a 15-0 win.
There were only three combined hits—two from the Mallards and one from the Chinooks—until the bottom of the fourth, when Staub walked Aaron Machbitz (South Dakota St.) and Chris Manning (Valparaiso) to lead off the inning. After a Ryan Krill (Michigan State) single that scored Machbitz, Mallards third baseman Brock Stewart (Illinois State) fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt from Sawyer Polen (Kent State) but had his throw sail up the right field line to allow another run to come across.
The floodgates then came flying open for the Chinooks, as they went on to register four more hits in the inning and scored five more runs. Jack Livingston (Northwestern) relieved the Mallards ace before he could record an out and would allow two more runs (one earned) in the inning.
Greenfield, meanwhile, allowed only two Mallards hitters to reach third through his seven innings of work. Jeff Zahn (Indiana State) doubled in the fifth and advanced on a Kyle Ruchim (Northwestern) groundout and Tony Cheky (Michigan State) singled in the sixth and eventually reached third on a passed ball later in the inning.
Cheky reached third again in the eighth while Chinooks reliever Jack Landwehr (Illinois State) was on the mound after singling, reaching second on an error and then advancing to third on a Drew Weeks groundout to first. Catcher Mike Fitzgerald (Indiana State) struck out with Cheky on third to end the inning.
Greenfield scattered six hits, walked just one and struck out three over his seven innings of work.
The Chinooks tallied eight more over the seventh and eighth innings after Andrew Stevenson (LSU) hit a triple with the bases loaded in the seventh and Mike Papi (Virginia) and Machbitz hit back-to-back solo home runs in the eighth off of reliever Charlie Naso (Illinois). Mike Hollenbeck (Illinois State) then hit a two-run double later in the eighth and Stevenson then singled him in off of Naso to cap off the scoring on the night.
Joe Pavlovich (UW-Oshkosh) came in for the Chinooks in the ninth and put down the Mallards in order.
Leading the way for the Chinooks in the offensive onslaught was Stevenson, who finished 3-for-6 with four RBIs, and Machbitz, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Hollenbeck, the team's No. 8 hitter, also had four RBIs and went 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
Cheky and Zahn were the only Mallards with multiple hits. Both hitters finished 2-for-4.
Game No. 2 of the Northwoods League Divisional Round of the playoffs will be at the "Duck Pond" Tuesday night and is set to start at 7:05 pm. Game No. 3 (if necessary) will be back at Kapco Park on Wednesday night at 6:35 pm.