Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chinooks Enjoying Success in Sophomore Season

All photos of Kapco Park available on Flickr.

It took nearly 4 months, but Erik and I finally made it to our first game of the season together this past weekend.  Prior to the annual greatest weekend of the entire summer - Milwaukee's Germanfest - we met my brother at Kapco Park for our 2nd Chinooks game, and my brother's first.  The sky was looking ominous but an entire doubleheader was played in full with no problems.  The twinbill started at 4:05, so we didn't make it until the end of the first game, but in total we still got to see 9 innings of ball.

We had some time to eat and walk around between games, and I could not help but go with the Leinie's beer battered fish fry as I did on my last visit.  We took our food and beers to the right field corner, talked to some players, and watched the Chinooks starter warm up for a few minutes, and then tried to take some hacks in the kids inflatable batting cage but the entire staff seemed to be taking some time off during the intermission.  Erik and I did not really notice anything differences at the park, aside from an additional set of rickety GA bleachers in left field.  Kapco Park still has the crazy 99.5% turf field that seems to be holding up pretty well, even though all of the other athletic facilities and lawns on campus get to have real grass.  All of the trees around the periphery are still in their infant stages and a lot of the concession stands and booths still seem temporary, so the park still feels very new.  You still have to park like a mile away and trek past other completely empty and functional lots to get to the ballpark, which I don't understand.  Despite these things and the relatively remote location, the Chinooks have been drawing well in Mequon and currently lead the South Division in the 2nd half with less than two weeks to go in the season.  Due to the unseasonably cool weather and threat of rain, the Chinooks only drew about a half-capacity crowd to watch the home team split the doubleheader with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.

Like I said, we missed most of the first game, which Lakeshore won 7-2.  Starter Tim Faix nearly went the distance in the 7-inning game, finishing with 6.1 IP and giving up only 2 runs.  All-Star and Chinooks top prospect Mike Papi went 2-3 with a homerun.  In the game we actually watched, the home team lost 8-4.  One of the few highlights for the Chinooks in this game was Jared Fon launching his first tater of the season.  Otherwise, it was a poor defensive effort with a lot of errors and botched plays.  Trevor Koehn's 5 innings were serviceable enough to get the win, and Donnie Dewees went 4-4 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored to lead the Rafters offense.

As of today, the Mallards and Bucks have already clinched the playoffs, and the Chinooks lead the South by 4 games, which means that potentially the three teams I consider my "home teams" would all make the playoffs, and that would be really awesome.  Whether the championship will involve me returning to Kapco or Waterloo, or my home base in Madison, regardless I am really looking forward to it.

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