Published On: July 3rd, 2009

Madison 9 – Wisconsin 2

It was a night of firsts for starting pitcher Alex Rivers (Santa Clara) and the Madison Mallards as the right-hander picked up his first win on the year and the team won its first game of the Northwoods League second half in a 9-2 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks Friday night. Rivers (1-1) threw five innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out three Woodchucks (0-1). Dan Burawa (St. John’s) then entered in the sixth inning and continued his recent dominance of opposing hitters by striking out seven batters in his four innings of work. Wausau’s starter, Brandon Koenigstein (0-3), picked up the loss, allowing six runs in 5.1 innings. Every Mallards (1-0) starting offensive player contributed with either a hit or RBI. In all, the team totaled 14 hits and had five different players record multiple base knocks in Kurtis Muller (Iowa) 3, Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State) 2, John Hicks (Virginia) 2, Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech) 2, and Joe Patterson (Texas A&M) 2. Madison was paced by two 2-run home runs by first baseman Harold Riggins (NC State) and designated hitter Troy Channing (St. Mary’s). It was Channing’s second in as many nights while Riggins recorded his sixth four-bagger and upped his season-long RBI total to 30.

Waterloo 2 – Green Bay 1 (10 Inn.)

A crowd of better than 2,000 at Riverfront Stadium was treated to a pitching duel Friday night with the Bucks (1-0) coming out on top 2-1 to open the second half of the season against South division foe the Green Bay Bullfrogs (0-1). Starting pitcher Chris Pack (Villanova) gave up one unearned run in 8.1 innings while striking out eight, allowing six hits and walking two. Pack received the no decision as winning pitcher Zach Cooper (Central Michigan) came in with one out in the ninth to shut down the Bullfrogs. With the first run of the game coming in the bottom of the eighth off a single by Bucks designated hitter Jason Krizan (Dallas Baptist), Bullfrogs pitcher Zach Varce (Portland) gave up only one unearned run off three hits and four walks in 7.1 innings of work. After quieting the Bullfrogs by striking out the side in the top of the tenth inning, the Bucks put a couple infield hits together and an intentional walk to short stop Michael Giller to load the bases. With a 1-0 count and two outs to Frazier Hall (Southern), Bullfrogs pitcher Steve Crnkovich (Tennessee) threw a wild pitch to bring home Willie Argo for the Bucks victory.

Thunder Bay 5 – Brainerd 1

Two Thunder Bay hitters had three hits apiece to lead the Border Cats to the 5-1 victory over the Lunkers at Mills Field in Game One of a two-game series. The first runs of the ballgame occurred in the top of the second. A leadoff single by Thunder Bay, followed by two hit batsmen, set up a 2-RBI single that put the Border Cats up early. In the third, Thunder Bay threatened again. A leadoff double set up a sacrifice bunt to put a man on third with one out. With the infield drawn in, a grounder to T.J. Berge (Northern Colorado) at second led to a play at the plate that saw Hunter Nolen (Northern Colorado) block the dish and tag out the runner to keep the Border Cats at bay. In the fourth, Thunder Bay busted the game open. A single, walk, and hit batsman set up a bases-clearing double to put the Lunkers down by five. The Lunkers managed to score one in the seventh off of a Hunter Nolen sacrifice fly into center that brought Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota) home. That would be the only offense on the night for the Lunkers though. Starter Taylor Babich (Rhodes College) lasted four innings, allowed five runs on six hits, and walked two in four innings. He was tagged for his second loss of the year. Out of the bullpen, new relief pitcher Matt Mullendore (Hamline) pitched strong. He didn’t allow a run in four innings, gave up only three hits, and struck out three. The offense was led by Hunter Nolen, Mike Kvasnicka, and Michael Gedman (UMass). All three Lunker hitters had two hits apiece on the evening.

La Crosse 5 – Mankato 3

La Crosse continued its run of success Friday night as a four-run fourth inning would be all the Loggers would need as they won their sixth game in last seven outings with a 5-3 victory over Mankato at Franklin Rogers Park. Mankato starter Zach Whitman (Georgia Southwestern) would not get out of the long fourth inning, as he was tagged for four hits and three earned runs in the frame. Brandon Meredith (San Diego State) had an RBI single and Chris Engell (San Diego) delivered a two-run double, before an unearned run at the expense of an errant Cody Fick (Evansville) throw would signal the end of Whitman’s night. The MoonDogs (23-11, 0-1) would chip away at the Logger (22-13, 1-0) lead, however, scoring a run in the fifth on a wild pitch, and posting two runs in the seventh. KC Serna (Oregon) brought home AJ Pettersen (Minnesota) and Kenny Held (New Mexico) with a single, and after Danny Miller (Minnesota State) reached on an error the Dogs had runners on the corners with nobody out, trailing 5-3. The Loggers quickly thwarted that rally, as after a pick-off attempt to first, Serna got caught in a rundown trying to score. That would be all the Dogs would muster, as Craig Crumbly (FGCU) got two big strikeouts to get out of the inning. It was just the second time this season the MoonDogs have lost consecutive games, with the first coming four games into the season. Justin Preckajlo (North Florida), Robert Brantly (UC Riverside) and Chris Engell (San Diego) all had two hits for the Loggers. The MoonDogs were led by Serna, who had two hits and two RBI. Madison Boer (Oregon) picked up his first win (1-0) throwing six innings, allowing three hits and striking out five. Whitman suffered the loss (3-2) allowing four earned runs on seven hits in just three and one-third innings.

Battle Creek 4 – Alexandria 1

The Battle Creek Bombers begin the second half of the season on the winning side of a pitcher’s duel, defeating the Alexandria Beetles 4-1. Bombers’ starter James Jones (John A. Logan) pitched seven strong innings, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out five. Chase Porch (North Alabama) toed the rubber for eight innings for the Beetles, giving up four runs on four hits while striking out four. Josh Valle (Marshall) got things going for the Bombers with a leadoff single in the second inning, and would later come around to score on a fielder’s choice. Then, with runners on first and second, Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky) made a diving stab at third, robbing Greg Annarummo (Elon) of an RBI single. In the next inning Alan Denman (USC Sumter) would benefit from a lucky carom off the left field wall, which turned a stand-up double into an inside the park home run. The Beetles would close the gap in the sixth, as Tim Roberson (Florida Gulf Coast) drove in Harry Austin (Elon) on a sacrifice fly to right. However, that was all the offense the Beetles would get. The Bombers would tack on two insurance runs in the eighth, and in the ninth closer R.J. Hively (Cal State Fullerton) slammed the door on the Beetles, striking out the side to record his seventh save of the season.

Duluth 3 – St. Cloud 1

The Duluth Huskies (1-0) defeated the St. Cloud River Bats (0-1) 3-1 in the second half season opener at Wade Stadium.  The game featured early hitting and solid pitching by the Huskies.  Duluth’s starting pitcher Drew Smyly (Arkansas) went 3 innings allowing 0 runs on 1 hit.  Smyly had a short pitch count due to the fact that he was making his first Huskie pitching appearance.  The win went to Kyle Stewart (Western Carolina), and Matt Patterson (Creighton) got his 6th save of the season.  Duluth threw 5 pitchers throughout the game. The Huskies scored early in the bottom of the 1st inning off of the bat of Nathan Melendres (Miami).  Melendres hit a triple into the right field gap scoring Scott Sommerfeld (Parkway South HS).  Andy Burns (Kentucky) and Nick McCoy (San Diego) each had 2 hits in the game, and both players hit doubles off the left field wall.   

Rochester 7 – Eau Claire 6  (Game 1)

The first game started quietly, but Dunsmore connected on a two-run home run in the third inning after Drew Beuerlein (UNLV) delivered an RBI double to give Rochester the early 3-0 lead. But the Express would storm back, scoring five runs off of Honkers starter Brian Flynn (Wichita State) in the top of the fourth. Six straight batter reached during the inning, and the big blow came off the bat of Rafael Neda (New Mexico), who smashed a three run homer to left center to make the score 5-3. But Rochester refused to be miffed by the crooked number, and after giving up another to trail 6-3, pushed across three runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie it up at 6-all. The score stayed there until the eighth when Tommasini drove in Danny Pulfer (Oregon) on a sacrifice fly to earn the 7-6 walk-off win. The win went to Scott McGough (Oregon), who pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief while the loss went to Ian Campbell (Yavapai), who allowed the sacrifice fly in the eighth. McGough is now 2-1, while Campbell fell to 3-4. Neda finished 2-for-4 with four RBI for Eau Claire, while Beuerlein led the Honkers offense with a 2-for-3, two run, two RBI performance.

 Rochester 3 – Eau Claire 2 (Game 2)

After a thirty-minute break, the teams returned to the diamond for the second of the two games. After a scoreless first two innings, Eau Claire took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third against Honker pitcher Danny Brock (St. Louis), who relieved starter Drew Bowen (Oral Roberts) after Bowen was forced to leave early. But, just like in the first game, Rochester would rally. In the bottom half of the inning a sacrifice fly tied the score back up a 1-1 and Rochester took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Tommasini. The Express were able to tie it, however, on an RBI groundout by Kole Calhoun (Arizona State) in the top of the fifth. So once again it was up to the Honkers to find a way to rally late, and they would do so again. After Pulfer led off the inning with a walk, Dunsmore smashed a ball to deep center, and it skipped through a gap in the fencing and out of play for a double. The umpires ruled that Pulfer would be allowed to score, and the run but the Honkers ahead 3-2, where the score would stay. Later in the inning Dunsmore was ejected for bowling over the catcher at home, and both benches would briefly clear, but the incident quickly fizzled. Arik Sikula (Marshall) came out of the bullpen in the top of the seventh, and completed the inning to earn his ninth save. The win went to Jay Johnson (Prairie Baseball Academy) to move him to 2-1, while the loss was charged to Calhoun, who pitched the sixth, and dropped his record to 0-1 on the year. P.J. Sequeira (Oral Roberts) was the only Honker with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-2 with a run scored.

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