Madison 7 – Alexandria 4
Madison busted out the big sticks to avenge last night’s loss and salvage a series split with a 7-4 win over Alexandria in front of 6,860 in attendance at the “Duck Pond” on Saturday night. Matt Jansen (Purdue) threw six strong innings to earn his fifth win and Harold Riggins (NC State) belted his eighth home run of the year, a grand slam in the fifth to put the Mallards (25-17 overall, 6-2 second half) ahead for good en route to a 7-4 win. Kurtis Muller (Iowa) led off the first inning with an infield single and came around to score on Joe Patterson’s (Texas A&M) bloop single down the left field line. Riggins, who singled to right center in his first at-bat, scampered home on a pass ball, giving the Mallards a 2-0 lead after an inning. Jansen faced the minimum and didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings. Tim Roberson (Florida Gulf Coast) broke that streak in the fifth with a single to left field and Sean Olenek (Mercer) added another single up the middle, but the Beetles (25-17, 5-3) failed to score, keeping the shutout intact. John Hicks (Virginia) led off the bottom of the inning with a hit-by-pitch followed by a double down the left field line by Jacob Esch (Georgia Tech). Muller came to the plate with one out and runners on second and third and grounded into a fielder’s choice to the third baseman who got Hicks in a rundown between third and home and retired him. As a result, runners winded up at first and second. Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) then drew a walk to load the bases and the Mallards’ heavy-hitting Riggins stepped to the plate. With the first pitch he saw, the right-handed slugger deposited the baseball up and over the wall in left center field for a grand slam. In giving Madison a 6-0 lead, he also set the single-season franchise record for home runs in a season with his eighth long ball of the year. He surpassed Francois Larmore (Marshall) who hit seven homers back in 2003. Riggins needs just one more home run to set the franchise record for career homers. In the eighth inning, the Beetles finally got to Jansen, scoring four runs on just a pair of singles. The left-hander walked the first two batters of the inning before getting Tyler Erickson (Minnesota-Duluth) to fly out to the right fielder Chris Barker (MATC), who laid out to make a brilliant diving catch. He got the next batter to fly out to left and then gave up an RBI single and another walk before Roberson cut the deficit in half with a two-run single up the middle to score Keith Castillo (USC) and Harry Austin (Elon), making it 6-3 Mallards. Alexandria added one more when catcher Tyson Blaser (Iowa) tried to pick off Roberson at first and saw the ball sail into right field bringing around Castillo all the way from second, making it 6-4. In the bottom of the inning, Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) connected on a pinch-hit solo home run, his sixth of the year, giving the Mallards a more comfortable 7-4 lead. Cameron Amsrude (UW-Milwaukee), who relieved Jansen to get the final out in the eighth, worked a perfect ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Rochester 4 – Thunder Bay 3
Zach Robertson (Iowa) allowed just five hits over 8.1 innings and struck out ten batters, but the Honkers still needed a walk-off single by William Arnold (Central Michigan) in the bottom of the ninth to earn a series sweep over Thunder Bay and a 4-3 win. Honkers closer Arik Sikula (Marshall) came on with the score 3-0 Rochester, one out and the tying run at the plate in the ninth and got a strikeout for the first out, but couldn’t complete the save as the Border Cats rallied to tie the game up. Sikula ended up getting his second win of the season though, despite blowing the save, when the Honkers won in the bottom half of the ninth. Rochester is now 7-2 in the half, while Thunder Bay fell to 4-4. Both starters were excellent early, as Miguel Valcarcel (St. John’s) matched Robertson over the first couple of innings. Rochester did manage to push two runs across against him the third, though, on a pair of walks and a two RBI double by P.J. Sequeira (Oral Roberts)—Rochester’s first hit of the game. Valcarcel would only allow one more hit, although he did walk five batters over six strong innings allowing just the two runs. Meanwhile Robertson was in complete cruise control, though, as he allowed just three singles and a walk over the first eight innings he tossed. He began to run out of gas in the ninth though, as he allowed a pair of singles around a strikeout before being pulled for Sikula. Rochester had scored a third run in the seventh to make it 3-0, and the Honkers would need that run as Sikula was unable to complete the save. After striking out the first batter he faced, he battled hard against Curtis Wagner (Santa Clara University) but Wagner eventually drove a ball to the batter’s eye in center scoring two runs to make it 3-2. The next batter, Walker Moore (Cal State Fullerton) singled to left and Sequeira misplayed the ball, allowing a third run to score and tie the game before Sikula got another strikeout to end the inning. Chris Marlowe (Navarro College) came on in the ninth for Thunder Bay, and Aaron Johnson (Illinois) nearly ended in the first at-bat as he drove a ball to deep left center, but it was caught for the first out. Aaron Dunsmore (Dayton) singled after that and Danny Pulfer (Oregon) was hit by the only pitch he saw to put two runners on before Arnold drove a ball through the left side to score Dunsmore and end the game. Sikula got the win to move to 2-1, while Robertson allowed just the two runs (both inherited runners he left to Sikula) and stuck out ten in his 8.1 innings. The loss went to Marlowe, who fell to 0-2. Sequeira and Arnold both paced the Honkers’ offense, each adding a hit and driving in two runs.
Brainerd 3 – Green Bay 1
The Lunkers got seven solid innings from starter Taylor Babich (Rhodes College) and two hits apiece from Shon Roe (Loyola Marymount) and Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota) to knock off the Green Bay Bullfrogs in Game Two, 3-1 to finalize the series sweep. The Bullfrogs scattered just three hits against Taylor Babich in seven innings. The only time he faced more than three hitters in an inning was in the second when five men approached the plate. He picked up his fourth win of the year, which is tied for the team-high, and lowered his ERA to 3.96. Mike Kvasnicka started the scoring in the first with his two-out double to left-center that brought home Hunter Nolen (Northern Colorado) to give the Lunkers the early lead. Moments later though, Green Bay answered right back. A two-out solo homer tied up the game. The Lunkers then took the lead away from the Bullfrogs in the bottom of the second. A leadoff single by Nate Hammes (St. Cloud State) set up a sacrifice bunt, which moved him to second. Hunter Nolen ripped a double of his own to bring home Hammes to give the Lunkers the 2-1 lead. In the fifth, the Lunkers put the game away. Shon Roe’s double down the left field foul line brought home the third and final run of the night. Drew Smith (Barton CC) entered the ninth and threw the knockout punch to record his tenth save of the year. In addition to Roe and Mike Kvasnicka, Mike Martinez (Florida International) finished 1-for-2 at the plate with a single, two walks, and a run scored. He reached base safely in all four of his at-bats. Stephen Wickens (Florida Gulf Coast) reached base three times as well and stole his 18th base of the season.
Battle Creek 7 – Waterloo 2
Battle Creek forged a pair of two-running frames in the fourth and sixth innings Saturday en route to a 7-2 Northwoods League win at Riverfront Stadium. The Bombers (4-4 second half, 25-16 overall) used a double and two runs scored from shortstop Mike Murphy (Arizona St.) and a run scored, hit and RBI from second baseman Greg Fujii (San Jose City College) to spark the offense. The attack helped starting pitcher Eddie Sipple (Florida Southern) who went the distance for the win, striking out 10. Waterloo (4-4 second half, 14-27 overall) was guided on offense by first baseman Michael Giller (Illinois). He finished two-for-three at the plate with an RBI.
La Crosse 6 – St. Cloud 0
The La Crosse Loggers completed the two game series sweep Saturday night with a 6-0 shutout against the visiting St. Cloud River Bats in front of 3,399 fans at Copeland park. The game started off as a pitchers duel for the first five innings as the game remained scoreless with both starting pitchers still going strong. The bottom of the sixth was a different story though for St. Cloud’s starting pitcher Pedro Ramos (Glendale C.C.) as the Loggers scored five runs, three of which were credited to Ramos. Aaron Gates (Pepperdine) of the Loggers got the rally going with an RBI double after the two batters in front of him both drew walks. The next batter Brandon Meredith (San Diego St.) added an RBI single to make the score 3-0 and Robert Abel (San Francisco) hit a two RBI single after a walk by Morgan Mickan (Texas) before him to cap off the five run inning for the Loggers. But the story of the night was the pitching by Loggers starting pitcher Kyle Simon (Arizona). Simon pitched a complete game shutout allowing only three hits on the night to improve his record to 5-2. Simon put on quite a show with only one recorded out reaching the outfield. Besides the three hits allowed and the one out that left the infield, the remaining 26 outs were scattered between groundouts, infield pop outs, and strikeouts. Offensively for the Loggers Robert Abel continued to swing a hot bat going 2-3 with three RBI’s and a walk. Greg Holt also continued his hit streak which is now at 16 games which is tied for the all-time Loggers record.
Mankato 9 – Eau Claire 8
Brian Haar (San Diego) topped off a huge night with two-run, go-ahead double in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Dogs a 9-8 win over Eau Claire Saturday night at Franklin Rogers Park. Things got interesting in the eighth inning as the Express came back to take the lead. Nolan Fadness (UW-Oshkosh) got the scoring started with an RBI single to right center and was followed by a Brooks Pinckard (Baylor) sac fly to tie the game. With Fadness on third, John Brebbia (Elon) uncorked a wild pitch that scooted through Xorge Carillo’s (Arizona State) legs to put the Express up 8-7. After the MoonDogs (27-14, 4-4) gave back the lead, Haar’s (San Diego) heroics gave the Dogs the lift they needed. With the bases loaded an one out, Haar lined a Matthew Kleine offering to right, scoring KC Serna (Oregon) and Danny Miller (Minnesota State) to put the Dogs up for good at 9-8. Haar had arguably his best game of the season, going 3-5 with two runs and three RBI. Ryan Durant (Iowa) continued his stellar season by going 3-4 with a run and an RBI, while Carillo posted two hits and two RBI. Andrew Leonard (UIC) led the Express (23-16, 2-7) with three hits, while Fadness gave the MoonDog pitching staff fits, going 2-3 with three RBI. Nate Baumann (Augustana) also scored three runs for the Express. Brebbia picked up his first win of the summer (1-1) by hurling the last one and two-thirds innings and striking out three. Kleine took the loss (0-1), throwing the eighth inning and allowing two earned runs on three hits. Both teams came out swinging as Eau Claire put up a three spot in the second, while the MoonDogs answered with four of their own in the frame. Matt Fritz (Bradley) and Fadness had the big hits that inning for the Express with two, two-out RBI doubles. The MoonDogs quickly came back to take the one-run lead. Carillo lined a two-run single down the third base line and was followed two batters later by a Serna sac fly and a Miller RBI double to put the Dogs up 4-3. Two runs in the third gave the MoonDogs an even bigger cushion as Haar and Durant drilled RBI singles for the 6-3 MoonDog lead. After Fadness earned another RBI with a bases loaded walk in the fourth, the Dogs got the run right back via a Jimmy Patterson (Arizona State) sacrifice fly for the 7-4 lead. The Express would put up one more run before the wild eighth inning.
Duluth 2 – Wisconsin 0