Alexandria 7 – Brainerd 4
With the bases loaded and two-outs, the Alexandria Beetles halted the Lunkers ninth inning rally to win Game Two of their series, 7-4. The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first five innings, but in the sixth, the Beetles struck first blood. A one-out single gave way to two run-scoring doubles to put Alexandria up, 3-0. Then in the eighth, the Beetles brought ten men to the plate and scored four more behind two singles, a double, and a pair of walks. With their backs against the wall in the ninth, Stephen Wickens (Florida Gulf Coast) led off with a single, which was followed by Justin Gominsky’s (Minnesota) bunt single. T.J. Berge (Northern Colorado) singled for the third consecutive hit, which led to the first run. Two outs later, back-to-back walks set up a bases-loaded, two-out situation. However, the Beetles shut down the Lunkers offense to preserve the victory. Keith Castillo (USC), Tim Roberson (FGCU) and Chase Porch(UNA) all doubled and Porch added in two RBI in the sixth. In the eighth inning the Beetles sent ten to the plate, getting RBI hits from Mike O’Neill (USC) and Vance Albitz (UC-San Diego). Erik Johnson (Cal-Berkeley) went six shutout innings in the starting role for the Beetles, finishing strong by striking out the side in the sixth inning. Matt Miller (Michigan) gave up two runs in his two innings of relief, and Brendan Alvey (Navarro JC) got roughed up in the ninth, but escaped after allowing two runs and leaving the bases loaded with a game-ending strikeout. Berge led all Lunker hitters with his 3-for-5 performance at the plate. Following close behind was David Valesente (St. Joseph) who finished 2-for-5 with an RBI. Brad Mergen (Indian Hills CC) fell short of picking up his third victory as he lasted 5.1 innings, allowed three runs on five hits, walked three, and struck out five.
Duluth 7 – Rochester 4
After entering the final frame down by six, the Honkers brought the tying run to the plate in Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) and he worked a long at-bat, but eventually struck out to end the game as Duluth completed the two-game sweep over Rochester with a 7-4 win. The Honkers are now (11-9) while Duluth moved to .500 at (11-11). The game stayed scoreless until the third, but Duluth erupted in that frame with five runs to take a 5-0 lead. Jerico Weitzel (Florida) delivered a two-run double off of Honkers starter Brian Flynn (Wichita State) to open the scoring. After a ground out Zach Walters (San Diego) added an RBI single and Jared Womack (Oklahoma State) hit a two-run single two batters later to complete the five spot in the frame. Flynn would complete the inning and enter the fourth, but he got only one out in that inning before being chased and charged with two additional runs to account for all seven of Duluth’s runs in the game. One of the seven was unearned after a passed ball allowed a Huskies runner to advance. Meanwhile the Honkers struggled with Duluth starter Chris Jensen (San Diego) as he kept Rochester off the board for four innings before allowing a single Honkers run on a sacrifice fly by John Tommasini (Oregon State) in the fifth inning to make it a 7-1 Duluth lead. The score stayed there until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Rochester mounted its late rally. The Honkers started the inning with a walk, a single and another walk in front of Aaron Johnson (Illinois) who was inserted as a pinch hitter to try and push some runs across. He came through with a two run double lined just fair past first base and into the right field corner to make it a 7-3 game and another run would score on a ground out by Danny Pulfer (Oregon) to cut it to 7-4. Aaron Dunsmore (Dayton) drew a walk to bring the tying run to plate in with just one out in front of Huskies reliever Kendall Wehrle (Arkansas) but the righty, despite being wild at time, buckled down and got Tommasini to strike out before also getting Corey Jones to swing and miss for the final out. Jones worked a full count and fouled off numerous pitches, but eventually couldn’t come through with the big hit. Flynn was charged with the loss to fall to 2-1 and lasted just 3.1 innings while allowing seven runs (six earned). The win went to Jensen, his first of the year, after he went 6.1 innings allowing just one run on three hits while striking out seven. The save was earned by Wehrle, his first of the season. No Honker had multiple hits, and Johnson paced the offense with his 1-for-1, two RBI day. Weitzel led the Huskies attack by going 2-for-4 with a run and three RBI.
Mankato 8 – Thunder Bay 4
The Mankato MoonDogs continued to roll, as Danny Miller went 3-4 with an RBI and Jimmy Patterson belted a monster home run to give the MoonDogs their fourth sweep of the season with an 8-4 victory over Thunder Bay at The Frank on Friday. Miller (Minnesota State) got the MoonDog (15-7) offense going early as he belted three singles in each of his first three at-bats. The MoonDogs got out to a 4-1 lead after three innings via RBIs from Miller, Taylor Black (Spartanburg Methodist) and Ryan Durant (Iowa). Scoring first has been a staple of this year’s club as the win moved the MoonDog record to 12-2 when they score first. In the fifth, Patterson (Central Arizona) belted the longest home run yet this year at the Frank. His two run shot cleared the 383 sign in centerfield and lengthened the MoonDog lead to 6-1 at that point. The top six in the MoonDog lineup did most of the work, providing but all but one of the team’s hits. Tony Strazzara (San Diego) and Durant added two hits, while KC Serna (Oregon) and Strazzara posted two runs apiece. Ryan Demmin (UW-Oshkosh) secured at least a tie for the league lead in wins, as the southpaw went five innings in allowing just three hits for his fourth win (4-1) of the season. Thunder Bay’s (4-18) Tyler Powell (Belmont Abbey) was tagged for six earned runs on 10 hits through five innings as he fell to 0-2 on the season. The Border Cats were fairly silent until the ninth when they staged a mini-rally against Tony Manville (Northern Illinois). The Cats pushed two across after putting their first four men on in the inning, but could not get any closer, as Manville induced a double play to end the game. David Phillips (Ole Miss) and Adam Courcha (New Mexico) posted two hits apiece and Derek Hamblen (Belmont) posted a two-run single in the ninth to pace the Border Cats.
La Crosse 7 – Green Bay 5
Despite jumping out to another early lead against the Loggers, the Bullfrogs were not able to complete the sweep tonight in La Crosse. La Crosse was able to take the second game of the two game series Friday night with a 7-5 victory at Copeland Park. John Semel (Chapman U.) drove in an early run for the Bullfrogs and pitcher Derrick Pankow (Concordia) was able to keep the Loggers scoreless until the 5th inning. But things changed in the bottom of the 5th inning when the Loggers scored six runs and took the lead and never looked back. The Loggers produced 5 hits in the 5th capped off by a two- run home run by Brandon Meredith (San Diego St.) Leading the way for the Loggers tonight was Meredith who went 1-4 with 2 RBI’s as well as Aaron Gates (Pepperdine) who went 2-2 with a double and a triple while scoring two runs. Starting pitcher Richie Erath (Florida Gulf Coast) picked up his first win of the season to even his record at 1-1.
Battle Creek 2 – Eau Claire 2 (Ssp. 9th Inn.)
Thunderstorms halted the game in the bottom of the ninth, and the game will have to be finished the next time the Eau Claire Express come to town. The Bombers and Express are tied, 2-2. The Bombers offense came out hot, with shortstop Doug Otto (VCU) hitting a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. Right fielder Chris Lewis (Western Michigan) also scored a run in the first inning, but that was all the offense the Bombers would get tonight. The Bombers were unable to move a runner to third base after the first, giving the Express the chance to come back. The Express manufactured 2 runs in the fourth and sixth innings, tying the game up at 2-2. In the fourth, catcher Aaron Fujiki (San Diego State) picked up an RBI with a sac fly, and in the sixth right fielder Bobby Rinard (Yavapai) brought in a run on a ground out to second. The Express used small ball last night in a come from behind victory over the Bombers, and that has been a major reason for their league best record. The Express return to Battle Creek on July 25, and tonight’s game will be resumed from the bottom of the ninth that afternoon.
St. Cloud 8 – Waterloo 4
Waterloo held a 3-0 lead after one frame, but the visiting St. Cloud Bats came off the mat with a five-run rally over the second and third innings en route to an 8-4 Northwoods League win Friday. St. Cloud (8-14) used the combination of third baseman Blake Cover (Nebraska-Kearney) and left fielder Brian Humphries (Pepperdine) to produce four hits and five RBIs. Waterloo (7-15) was guided on offense by a pair of multiple-hit games from first baseman Michael Giller (Illinois) and third baseman Troy White (Northern Illinois). Pitching-wise, the River Bats’ staff held the Blue, Gold and White scoreless on four hits and struck out six between the second and ninth innings.
Madison 4 – Wisconsin 1
Matt Morgan (Purdue) impressed all 5,474 in attendance at the “Duck Pond” on Friday night by striking out a season-high 10 batters over six innings of work and propelling the Mallards to a 4-1 win over South Division rival, Wisconsin. Madison (16-6) gained momentum heading into their week-long road trip by winning its second game in a row. Morgan (2-0) and the Mallards endured a one hour rain delay prior to the start of the game, but were unfazed. “We were able to come out of the rain delay, keep focused and get the job done even though the conditions weren’t what we had hoped for going in,” Morgan said. The right-hander led his squad to a much-needed win at home and his teammates followed suit by spotting him a run in the first inning. After Morgan struck out the side in the top half of the first, Kurtis Muller (Iowa) led off the bottom half of the inning with a single that led to the Mallards first run of the game. Adam McClain (Memphis) slugged an RBI double over the head of center fielder Chad Wright (Kentucky) to drive Muller in, making it 1-0 Mallards. Wisconsin’s Mike Mutchesun (New Mexico JC) led off the second with a deep blast over the fence in left field for his first home run of the season and tied the game at 1 apiece. Morgan settled down after that, striking out a pair before ending the inning without further damage. Wisconsin starter Terrance Jackson (Oklahoma City) answered with two strikeouts of his own in retiring the side in order in the bottom of the second and a strikeout dual would ensue. Morgan answered back in the third when he struck out the side for a second time. The Purdue sophomore had nine strikeouts through three innings. In the Mallards’ half of the third, McClain drew a one out walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then advanced to third base on Harold Riggins’ (NC State) ground out. Jackson’s third wild pitch of the game allowed McClain to scamper home for the go-ahead run making it 2-1 Mallards. Madison added two insurance runs in their half of the fifth, giving Morgan and the Mallard pitching staff all the support they needed. The Wisconsin (7-14) sixth was the only inning Morgan failed to record a strikeout, but he did manage to retire the side in order thanks to a couple of key defensive plays by Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) and Tyson Blaser (Iowa). Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State) and Denny Clement (Texas A&M) shut down the Woodchucks the rest of the way, surrendering just three hits over three innings of work. Clement then earned his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.