NWL Roundup 6/23
Rochester 10 – Wisconsin 3 (Game 1)
In the first game Phil Haig (Illinois) was on the mound for Rochester making his second start of the year, and he looked great for his first couple of innings. But in the third he was touched by a two-run homer from the bat of Chad Wright (Kentucky) that put the Woodchucks on top 2-0. But the Honkers rallied in the fifth behind Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) who hit the first of two homers in the game—a three run bomb that that put Rochester ahead 3-2 and gave them a lead they would never surrender. Meanwhile Chris Auten (New Mexico State) would add a two-run single to make it a 5-2 lead before the Honkers pushed across two more runs in the frame to leave the fifth inning ahead 7-2. Phil Haig would leave after five innings and hand the ball to Scott McGough (Oregon), who would complete the game allowing just a single run over his two innings of work. Rochester would also add more insurance in the sixth behind another Jones homer, this time a two run shot, and score three total runs to take a 10-3 lead and hold that score the rest of the game. The two homers give Jones five on the year which moved him into first place in the Northwoods League in that category. Haig was awarded the win to go 1-0 on the year, while the loss was given to Wisconsin starter Kyle Gumieny (SE Missouri State), who allowed four runs over 4.1 innings of work to fall to 2-3. Jones finished with two hits, five RBI and two runs scored in the first game, while Auten and P.J. Sequeira (Oral Roberts) both had three hits in the game. Wright paced the offense for Wisconsin by going 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI.
Rochester 8 – Wisconsin 6 (Game 2)
After a thirty-minute break, the teams returned to the field for the second game—this time with Rochester playing as the road team because the game was making up a contest in Wisconsin that was rained out in early June. The Woodchucks didn’t waste any time jumping out in front, shutting down the Honkers in the top of the first and scoring two runs in the bottom half of the inning on a walk and three singles against Honkers starter Zach Robertson (Iowa). The Honkers would rally to tie it with a pair of runs in the top of the third, but Robertson would give back the lead in the bottom half of the frame when six straight Woodchucks batters reached to start the inning and four came around to score to make it a 6-2 game. Rochester got back one run in the fourth, and the score would stay at 6-3 until the seventh. Wisconsin got the first two outs quickly before Jones was hit by a pitch to reach first. Rance Roundy (UNLV) followed with a double off the wall in left to put two runners in scoring position in front of Sequeira. He crushed a fastball over the wall in left for a three run homer that tied the game and would send it to extra innings after Arik Sikula (Marshall) put up a zero in the bottom half of the inning. The game stayed scoreless for two innings before the Honkers would finally break through in the top of the tenth. Working against Jeremy Brewer (Central Arkansas), who came out of the bullpen to start the inning, Auten and Danny Brock (St. Louis) led off the inning with back-to-back home runs well over the wall in left to make it an 8-6 game with the Honkers on top. Sikula, entering his fourth inning of work, shutdown the Woodchucks again in the bottom of the tenth to secure the victory and earn his first win of the season to go 1-1. The loss was charged to Brewer and he fell to 2-3. Sikula pitched three shutout innings allowing just three hits while Robertson went six frames allowing six earned runs. Roundy and Brock both had three hits for the Honkers and Sequeira went 2-for-3 with a run and four RBI.
Mankato 6 – St. Cloud 0
With Kurtis Frymier (Michigan State) coming off the 10th no-hitter in Northwoods League history for St. Cloud, the Mankato MoonDogs knew they were in for a challenge. The Dogs responded, however as they used a four-run sixth inning to capture their fifth straight win with a 6-0 triumph over the River Bats at Joe Faber Field on Tuesday. The top of the MoonDog order did what it was supposed to do, as A.J. Pettersen (Minnesota), Danny Miller (Minnesota State) and Ryan Durant (Iowa) combined for eight hits, four runs and five RBI. Tim Griffin (Rollins) got the start on the bump for the MoonDogs (17-7), but would not need that much support. The junior righty hurled seven innings of scoreless ball, striking out seven and allowing just three hits to post his second win (2-1) of the year. He combined with Chris Garrison (Oregon) to throw the fifth shutout of the season for the MoonDogs, good for tops in the league. Miller led the way for the MoonDogs offense, as he went 3-5 with a double, two runs, two RBI and a double. Pettersen was 3-5, Durant was 2-5 and Taylor Black (Spartanburg Methodist) was the other MoonDog with multiple hits as he recorded two on the evening to contribute to a 13-hit MoonDog attack. Jonathan Roof (Michigan State) was the lone River Bat with multiple hits as he recorded two for a River Bat offense that managed just four total hits of MoonDog pitching.
La Crosse 4 – Madison 2
The La Crosse Loggers scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Madison Mallards, 4-2. Both teams starting pitchers looked good early and the game remained scoreless until the top of the 4th inning when Madison was able to score on an RBI single by Mark Ginther (Oklahoma St.) Madison tacked on another run in the top of the fifth to take the 2-0 lead but it would end up not being enough. La Crosse put up all of their runs in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runs coming off of a Nick Baligod (Oral Roberts) home run and the remaining two off of a Justin Prekajlo (North Florida) double to seal the deal for the Loggers. Picking up the win for La Crosse was LHP Steven Gruver (Tennessee) who pitched seven innings giving up two earned runs with seven strikeouts. Leading the way offensively for La Crosse Baligod and Prekajlo who each picked up two RBI’s on a hit each. Mark Ginther for the Mallards had a nice night offensively going 3-4 with an RBI as well.
Battle Creek 12 – Green Bay 3
Battle Creek exploded for eight runs over the seventh and eighth innings putting away Green Bay in the series opener on a hot and humid Tuesday night at Jones Sign Field at Joannes Stadium. Leading by three runs entering the seventh frame, Battle Creek (15-9) tallied 10 hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch during its offensive outburst. Chris Bangi (Campbell) led the Bombers with a 4-for-6 performance at the plate, including two runs scored and a stolen base. Nick Campbell (Bryant) also added three hits on the night, while five other Battle Creek batters recorded a pair of hits. Josh McElwee (Newberry College) earned the victory tossing seven innings giving up six hits, while striking out eight in the win. Craig Gullickson (Clemson) was tagged with the loss after he allowed four runs – three earned – to go along with three walks, but he did strike out five in five innings on the hill. Green Bay (11-13) was led by Daniel Torrente (Missouri State), Nick O’Shea (Minnesota), and Matt Argyropoulos (Washington State) who recorded a pair of hits.
Thunder Bay 3 – Brainerd 2
The Lunkers committed a season-high five errors en route to a 3-2 loss to the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Just like their opening matchup on June 14, the Border Cats plated a run in the first to go up, 1-0. Then in the second with two outs, Thunder Bay sparked a rally to score another, and in the third, a leadoff double led to the third run of the night. With four errors already on the night, the Lunkers made defensive magic in the sixth. With men on first and second for the Border Cats, a groundball hit to David Valesente (St. Joseph) started a 5-to-4-to-3 double play that featured T.J. Berge (Northern Colorado) and Andrew Gudmunson (North Dakota). Then, Gudmunson threw home to Nate Hammes (St. Cloud State) to catch a Thunder Bay runner trying to score. Hammes ran him back near third, and then threw to Stephen Wickens (Florida Gulf Coast) who eventually tagged him out to covert the first triple play in franchise history. In the seventh, Wickens scorched a double to the alley, and eventually scored on an RBI single by Berge. Then in the eighth, Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota) bombed a homer over the right-center wall for a solo shot to cut the lead to one. That would be the last run the Lunkers scored though. Matt Robertson (Barton CC) tossed seven innings of one run ball for Thunder Bay to improve to 3-2. The righthander allowed eight hits, one walk, and struck out two. Robertson has three of the Cats five wins this season. Chris Marlowe (Navarro College) pitched a scoreless 9th inning for his 2nd save. Garret Houts (USC) went 2-4 and drove in two runs. Newcomer Eli Tupuola (Virterbo) also had a 2-4 night at the plate.
Alexandria 4 – Duluth 1
Nick Brown (Iowa) tossed six good innings, and the bullpen kept Duluth off balance all evening long as the Beetles finished a sweep of the Huskies with a 4-1 win. Sean Yost (Nebraska) took the loss for Duluth, despite working eight innings in the start. Matt Miller (Michigan) got the final six outs of the game, earning his first save of the season. For the second night in a row, Alexandria supplied just enough offense to pick up a win. The Beetles loaded the bases in the first with nobody out, but Keith Castillo’s (USC) sacrifice fly was the only run the offense could muster. After Duluth plated their only run in the bottom of the second, the Beetles responded in the fourth with a run, and another on a Wes Patterson (U-Tennessee Martin) homerun to lead off the fifth. Brown continued to throw well through the sixth inning, and Kevin Vangheluwe (Michigan) tossed a shutout seventh before giving way to Miller after giving up a lead-off double to Nick McCoy (San Diego) in the eighth. With nobody out, and the Beetles holding a 4-1 lead, Miller got Zach Walters (San Diego) to line out back to the mound. Miller then doubled off McCoy for two quick outs. Miller threw a perfect ninth inning to earn the save, and the Beetles completed the two-game sweep and finish the five game road trip 5-0.
Eau Claire @ Waterloo (Ppd.)
Heavy rain and wet field conditions have pushed the Bucks showdown with the first place Eau Claire Express to Monday, July 27 as part of a double header. The double header will feature two seven-inning games with the first one starting at 6:05 PM and the second to follow immediately after.