Battle Creek 11 – Thunder Bay 4
The Border Cats suffered their six straight loss falling 11-4 to Battle Creek at Port Arthur Stadum. The Bombers took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning and put the game away by scoring five runs in the eighth. Chris Bangi (Campbell), Nick Campbell (Bryant), Josh Valle (Marshall), Craig Denman (Mercy Hurst), and Alan Denman (USC Sumter), all had two hits apiece as the Bombers banged out 14 hits on the night. Adam Courcha (New Mexico), A.J. Schugel (Central Arizona), and Derek Hamblen (Belmont), all connected for solo home runs for Thunder Bay. Dan Holcomb (Evansville) improved to 2-0, pitching six innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. Holcomb walked three and struck out five. Randy Mower (St. Joseph’s) took the loss for the Border Cats to fall to 1-1.
Brainerd 6 – St. Cloud 5
With one out and bases loaded in the bottom of the eleventh, Michael Gedman (UMass) got hit by a pitch, which scored the winning run to give the Lunkers the 6-5 victory over the St. Cloud River Bats. In the first, the Lunkers struck early. Dennis O’Grady (Duke) smoked a 2-run home run over the left field wall for the Lunkers first lead of the night. In the fourth, the River Bats brought two runs home on a two-out rally. Then, in the fifth, St. Cloud scored one more to take the lead. However, in the bottom half of the fifth, a leadoff walk to O’Grady led to Michael Kvasnicka’s (Minnesota) RBI single to tie the game at three. The River Bats kept fighting though. They plated two in the sixth to take the lead, 5-3. In the seventh, the Lunkers got one back as O’Grady’s leadoff single set up David Valesente’s (St. Joseph) sacrifice fly that cut the deficit to one. In the ninth, the Lunkers trailed, 5-4 and they needed a spark to tie the game. A leadoff single by Kvasnicka gave way to a one-out, pinch hit RBI double by TJ Berge (Northern Colorado) that tied the game at five. It wasn’t until the eleventh that the Lunkers would finally pull it out. Stephen Wickens (Florida Gulf Coast) started things with a double to the wall, and soon after, the River Bats walked a pair to load the bases. The first pitch that Michael Gedman saw, he wore right on his back, and that hit batter by St. Cloud brought home the winning run.
Mankato 1 – Waterloo 0
The Mankato MoonDogs keep finding ways to win ball games. Despite being no-hit through five and two-third innings, the MoonDogs used an infield single by Jimmy Patterson in the sixth to pull out a 1-0 victory over the Waterloo Bucks Friday evening at Franklin Rogers Park. Through five and one-half innings the two squads had combined for just one hit. Lance Ray (Western Nevada) reached on a walk and then stole second base with two outs and Patterson (Central Arizona) up. Patterson then hit a slow groundball to third baseman Troy White (Northern Illinois), beating the groundball as White threw wildly, allowing Ray to come around to score the game’s only run. As the score would indicate, pitching was the story of this game as Lenny Linsky (Hawaii) and James Wise (Washington State) locked horns in a classic pitchers’ duel. Linsky hurled six innings of one-hit ball for the Bucks, striking out seven, but also walking seven and allowing the unearned run. He fell to 0-2 on the season. Wise made his MoonDog (10-5) debut Friday, and he did not disappoint, allowing just two hits and striking out seven in five innings. It was Alex Burgos (Manatee CC), however, that picked up the win. The rising sophomore pitched four innings of near perfect relief, allowing just one hit and striking out seven to go to 1-1 on the season.
Eau Claire 3 – Duluth 2
Friday night’s game lacked excitement at the beginning. There was definitely no lack of excitement though in the final three innings. The Eau Claire Express scored on a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat the Duluth Huskies 3-2. Mario Urena (UTPB) made his season debut on the mound for the Express. He struggled in the first inning as he gave up two runs. He settled down nicely after that however, and pitched seven innings only allowing those two runs. Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) hit a towering home run that went over the fan deck in right field in the eigth inning to tie the game 2-2.
Ian Campbell (Yavapai) came on to pitch the tenth inning. The leadoff batter reached on an error by Fritz to start the inning. The next batter reached on a bunt single and stole second base. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Campbell got the next batter to ground out to third. After an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out, Cambell got a strikeout and a fly ball to left field to get out of the jam. In the tenth, Fritz reached second base on a throwing error by the third baseman. Nolan Fadness (UW-Oshkosh) bunted him over to third. With one out, that brought Pinckard to the plate. The Huskies pitched Pinckard carefully and walked him. That set the table for Robbie Knight (Creighton). Knight laid down the perfect suicide squeeze and the Express won their twelfth game of the season.
Wisconsin 4 – Green Bay 0
History was made Friday night at Athletic Park as Bobby Pritchett (Central Arkansas) threw the third no-hitter in Wisconsin Woodchucks history in front of 2,876 fans as he blanked the Green Bay Bullfrogs in a 4-0 victory. Pritchett was the story from the start as he struck out the first three batters he faced. He got into a bit of a jam and in the third as he walked two consecutive Bullfrogs, but he was able to work out of the jam and keep things scoreless. The Woodchucks got their first hit in the third inning when Chad Wright (Kentucky) doubled to deep center to score Carson Vitale (Creighton) from first. Pritchett responded to the run from the offense by retiring 18 straight Bullfrogs in a streak that spanned from the third inning until the second batter in the ninth. The Woodchucks added an insurance run in the sixth and two more in the seventh setting the stage for the dramatics from Pritchett. Pritchett struck out Jared Andreoli (Western Kentucky) and Sam Munson (Walters St. CC) to start the ninth to bring the Athletic Park fans to their feet. After walking Aaron Conway (Missouri St.), Pritchett came back to strike out Riley Hendricks on three pitches as the celebration started. Pritchett went the distance and threw 139 pitches in the process. He did not allow a run or a hit and struck out 12 while walking just three. The Woodchucks were led offensively by Mike Mutcheson (New Mexico JC) who went 2-for-4 with an RBI. The defense was also stellar for the ‘Chucks behind Pritchett as they did not make a single error.
Madison 5 – La Crosse 4 (10 Inn.)
The Mallards earned their third walk off win at home thanks to Joe De Pinto’s (USC) RBI single to center field field, driving in Trent Soares (Fresno State) for the 5-4 win over the La Crosse Loggers in 10 innings on Friday night. Madison struggled to get any offense going early on, but the Loggers bullpen and a crowd of 5,202 in attendance backing them led to a ninth striaght win at the “Duck Pond”. The Mallards (12-3) entered the eighth inning with just two hits, but battled against the La Crosse bullpen to push across four runs and steal another win away from a Northwoods League opponent. Most importantly, the Mallards kept pace with Eau Claire who also won to stay in a first place tie in the South Division. La Crosse (9-6) starter Aaron Dott (Uw-Whitewater) cruised through his 6.1 innings of work. He allowed one hit while striking out seven and walking just two. The left hander, drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, lowered his ERA to 0.49 on the season only to be denied his second win of the year. Madison hurler Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) did his best to match Dott. Esch, making his first start of the season, gave up two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking one. Denny Clement (Texas A&M) fired two scoreless inning of relief to get the Mallards to the 10th inning. That set up Soares’ infield single to start things off. It was a slow roller to the left of the second baseman Abel who handled it cleanly and was a split second late of getting the streaking Soares. Kurtis Muller (Iowa) then executed a sacrifice bunt and made way for De Pinto’s RBI single to center field to send the Mallard faithful into a frenzy.
Alexandria @ Rochester (Ppd.)
The scheduled game tonight between Rochester and Alexandria has been postponed due to rain. The game will be made up tomorrow as part of a double-header starting at 6:05pm at Mayo Field. Each game will be considered complete after 7 innings unless the score is tied, at which point “extra-innings” will begin with the eighth. Matt Mullendore (Hamline) will start the first for Rochester against Chase Porch (U of North Alabama) for Alexandria. Drew Bowen (Oral Roberts) will face Erik Johnson (Berkeley) in the second game.