Published On: June 30th, 2009

La Crosse 9 – Waterloo 2

The La Crosse Loggers are beginning to really like life on the road in the Northwoods League as they enjoyed a 9-2 victory over the Waterloo Bucks Tuesday night at Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo, Iowa.  The win secured a perfect 4-0 road trip for the Lumbermen and ran their season record to 20-12, matching the club’s best win total for a half-season (20-10 in 2004, first half). Loggers starter Steven Gruver made sure he did his part in keeping the Loggers perfect on the road trip as the southpaw improved to 4-1 on the season with seven shutout innings and dropped his ERA to 1.47. In the meantime, the Logger offense kept it rolling with the nine-run output on nine hits.  Rob Brantly and Boomer Collins led the way with two hits apiece and Greg Holt drove in a pair. Waterloo (10-21) was led by center fielder Willie Argo (Illinois). Argo finished the night with three hits, including a double.

Brainerd 6 – Rochester 1

The Lunkers put together timely hitting, stellar pitching, and shutdown defense to knock of the Rochester Honkers, 6-1 in Game Two of their series at Mills Field. Stephen Wickens (Florida Gulf Coast) led off the first with a single, and ended up scoring on a throwing error to give the Lunkers the early lead. That single would be first of four hits on the night for Wickens, who finished a perfect 4-for-4 in the box with three runs scored and a walk.Then in the second, a single by Will Piwnica-Worms (Duke) was followed by a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Shon Roe (Loyola Marymount). Three consecutive hits by Wickens, T.J. Berge (Northern Colorado) and Mike Martinez (Florida International) set up a three-run inning that gave the Lunkers the 4-0 lead. Dennis O’Grady (Duke) was lights-out again on the mound. He allowed just two hits through five innings, and gave up the only Honkers run of the night in the sixth. That run allowed ended his impressive 22-consecutive scoreless innings streak that dated back to June 16 against Duluth. O’Grady finished the night with six strikeouts, two walks, and only four hits allowed in eight innings of work. The Lunkers scored two in the sixth to finish off Rochester, and in the ninth, Drew Smith (Barton CC) shut down the Honkers to preserve the victory. In addition to Stephen Wickens’ night at the plate, the Lunkers got three hits from Will Piwnica-Worms and two from Mike Kvasnicka. John Tommasini (Oregon State) was the only Honker with multiple hits at 2-for-4, while Corey Jones went 1-for-4 with his RBI double the only extra-base hit of the game for either team.

Battle Creek 7 – Green Bay 2

The Battle Creek Bombers broke the game open with a four-run fourth inning, earning a sweep of the Green Bay Bullfrogs tonight with a 7-2 win. The Bombers sent eight men to the plate in the fourth, scoring four runs on three hits and two walks. Chris Lewis (Western Michigan) punctuated the inning with a two-RBI triple to left, and then scored himself on a single by Jimmy Tanner (USC Upstate). The win boosts the Bomber’s record to a perfect 4-0 versus the Bullfrogs this season. Matt Talley (The Citadel) did an outstanding job quieting the Bullfrogs’ bats. After giving up an RBI double in the third, Talley retired 11 consecutive batters, and 16 of his final 18 batters faced. Talley ended the night surrendering two earned runs on eight hits in eight innings, with eight strikeouts and no walks. Third baseman Joe Van Meter (VCU) pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two Bullfrogs in his first appearance on the mound this season. Doug Otto (VCU) got the offense started in the third and fourth innings, drawing a leadoff walk and stealing second base both times. In the third, Alan Denman (USC Sumter) drove in the tying run with a triple to right, scoring the go-ahead run on a Chris Lewis double. In the fourth it was Lewis’ big triple that broke the game open, and the Bombers did not allow Green Bay even a glimmer of hope for a comeback. Lewis ended the night going 2-for-5 with a double, a triple, three RBI and two runs scored.

Mankato 4 – Eau Claire 0

The Eau Claire Express dropped their second game in a row for the first time this season after losing to the Mankato MoonDogs 4-0 Tuesday night at Carson Park. The MoonDogs got a gem out of starting pitcher Bennett Whitmore (Oregon). Whitmore carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and finished with a complete game shutout.  He had the Express batters off balance all night and also benefited from some hard hit balls hit right to his defenders. Rudy Jaramillo (New Mexico) started on the mound for the Express and went six innings. Jaramillo suffered his first loss of the season giving up only two earned runs. Jaramillo struggled a bit but still pitched effectively on the night. The MoonDogs got on the board first in the second inning. Bryan Haar (San Diego) hit a solo home-run onto the football field to give them the early 1-0 lead. The MoonDogs tacked on another run in the fourth inning to take a 2-0 lead. In the ninth, Cody Fick (Evansville) added another solo home-run for the MoonDogs and basically put the game away. The Express were only able to muster six hits on the night. Some of it was bad luck, but most of it was the brilliant pitching performance from Whitmore. The Express were able to mount one rally during the game. In the eighth inning, Nate Baumann (Augustana) led off with a single and he was followed by a Drew Heithoff (Augustana) single.  But with runners on first and second, no Express batter was able to get another hit. 

Alexandria 8 – Duluth 0

For the second time this year, a Beetle has gone the distance and shutout Duluth.  On Tuesday, it was Nick Brown (Iowa) tossing all nine innings, giving up just three singles in the game.  Brown struck out six and walked none in the outing, earning his second win in as many tries.  Justin Leith (Florida International) took his second straight loss against the Beetles, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings of work. While Duluth was held at bay all afternoon long, Alexandria quietly built a lead.  In the third inning, Sean Olenek (Mercer) drilled a triple into left field–his first extra base hit of the season–and later scored on a Marcus Semien (Cal) RBI single.  In the fourth, a lead-off walk came around to score on a Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky) groundout. Langfels would add an RBI double in the sixth, pushing the lead to 3-0. In the seventh, the Beetles would double their lead to 6-0, taking advantage of two Chance Brull (Doane) passed balls and a Zach Walters (San Diego) error.  Langfels would come through with his second double of the game to plate one run, and Tim Roberson finished a 3-3 day with a two RBI single. Alexandria would add two more in the eighth on a pair of sacrifice flies, and Brown set down the side in order in the ninth to finish his spectacular start. The win assures the Beetles of a winning record in the first half and is the ninth win in the last eleven games.

Wisconsin 9 – Madison 6

It was a wild one at the “Duck Pond” on Tuesday night, another one full of errors and with plenty of offense. Unfortunately for the Mallards, it didn’t translate into a win as the Wisconsin Woodchucks gained a 9-6 victory before a crowd of 5,452. Madison starter Joe Yermal (Charlotte) made his first start since June 16, when he was forced to leave early due to tendenitis in his throwing arm. The right-hander had a solid outing despite taking the loss and falling to 3-2 on the season. He breezed through the first inning, striking out a batter in the process. He scattered five hits, only one being an extra base hit which came in the form of a Mike Marshall (Stanford) solo shot over the 94.1 JJO Rooftop deck in left field to lead off the second inning. Other than that, three of the five runs he allowed were unearned in large part to five defensive errors in the sixth inning. Kurtis Muller (Iowa) led off the third inning with a well-placed bunt single that third baseman Travis Whitmore (Pittsburgh) found hard to handle. The next batter, Harold Riggins (NC State), was given the green light on a 3-0 pitch and ripped a fastball down the left field line for a double, scoring Muller from first base to tie the game at 1-1. Things looked promising heading into the sixth inning of a tight game, but the game got away from the Mallards in what turned out to be a miserable inning defensively. The Woodchucks (12-20) put up seven runs to break a 1-1 tie, five of those runs were unearned. Eight straight batters reached base to start the inning, four by way of Madison errors, and 11 batters came to the plate in all. Yermal was chased after the first four batters reached, but reliever Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) didn’t have much luck either. He did get Carson Vitale (Creighton) to ground into a double play to minimize the damage, but when it was all said and done, the Woodchucks had an 8-1 lead. Madison tried to mount a comeback in the seventh inning. The first five batters reached base capped off by Riggins’ third double of the night which drove in Muller and Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) from first and second to make the score 8-5. After a strikeout and a pitching change, reliever Cullen Sexton (Minnesota) threw 11 straight balls, putting runners on first and second and sending the tying run to the plate in the form of Adam McClain (Memphis). McClain worked the count to 3-0 before fouling off the first strike thrown by Sexton. He’d foul off one more before striking out on a Sexton fastball to end the inning. In the top half of the eighth, the Woodchucks answered with a run by Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor) who reached with a lead-off single. A double down the right field line by Vitale drove him in to make it 9-5. Madison added a run in their half of the inning thanks to a Sabourin RBI double that cut the deficit to 9-6 and impressively, brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning before Anthony Drobnick (Washington State) got Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) to pop out in foul territory to third base to end the game. Wisconsin starter Bryce Shafer threw six solid innings in his second start of the year, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking only two to move his record to 3-0.

St. Cloud @ Thunder Bay (Ppd.)

Tuesday’s contest featuring the St. Cloud River Bats (13-18) and the Thunder Bay Border Cats (6-25) was been postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a double-header Wednesday beginning at 12:05 p.m. CST.

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