NWL Roundup 7/18

Madison 7 – Eau Claire 4

Matt Jansen (Purdue) provided the pitching and Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana) led the offense to a series opening, 7-4, win over Eau Claire before a season-high crowd of 7,211 at the “Duck Pond” on Saturday night. Jansen allowed two runs, none earned, and struck out four over 6.2 strong innings of work to earn his league-leading sixth victory of the year. He worked out of a huge bases loaded jam in the fifth inning to keep the game a scoreless tie. After Calhoun’s pop out to second base, he struck out Jason Ganek (UIC) on three straight pitches to end the inning and set up a big bottom of the fifth for the Mallard offense. They listened to their skipper. Madison (28-21 overall, 9-6 second half) got four runs in the frame to break the shutout for Eau Claire starter Rudy Jaramillo (New Mexico). Sabourin provided the big blow with a huge 8-pitch at-bat before a two-run double to right drove in the first two runs of the game. Sabourin finished the night 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. The Mallard defense really came around in the win as well. In the fisrt inning, shortstop Brashad Johnson (Des Moines Area CC) committed an error on a grounder by the second batter of the game, but made up for it by turning a 6-3 double play to end the inning. In the third, Andy Leonard (UIC) led off the third with the first hit for the Express, but Jansen and Jimmy Parque (St. John’s) held them at bay. The center fielder Parque laid out for a beautiful diving catch, one of his three putouts in the inning. Jansen (6-1) allowed back-to-back two-out singles in the fourth, but got Leonard to record the seventh Express flyout of the game to get out of the inning. The left-hander recorded eight flyouts in all. In the seventh, Eau Claire would finally get to Jansen to push a couple runs across, cutting the deficit in half while using a two-out to do so. Eau Claire’s Ganek singled to right to drive in the first one before the next batter, Nate Baumann (Augustana), drove in the second with a ground rule double to left. The Mallards weren’t seeing this lead get away though. They answered in the bottom half of the inning with three runs off Jaramillo and chased the lefty out of the game following Sabourin’s second two-run hit of the day, making the score 7-2 Madison. Jaramillo allowed a season-high seven runs on ten hits while striking out five and walking two. The loss dropped his record to 3-3 this season. The Express (26-20, 5-11) got two runs in the ninth off of Madison reliever Dan Burawa (St. John’s), but nothing more. Both came on Baumann’s two-run double, one of three doubles for the right fielder on the night. He finished 4-for-5 with three RBI.

Alexandria 1 – Battle Creek 0

Alexandria’s Mitch Handley (North Alabama) and Battle Creek’s Matt Talley (The Citadel), both heading to the All-Star game, tossed gems Saturday night.  Both went the distance.  Both didn’t allow an earned run. But only one could win. And, for the first time in over a month, it was Handley, getting just one run of support, coming out victorious.  The junior didn’t allow a hit past the sixth inning, and racked up four strikeouts while walking only one.  His counterpart Talley, was just as impressive, fanning five in eight innings of work. The lone run of the game came after the lone Battle Creek error of the game.  With two out and a runner on first, Joe Van Meter (Virginia Commonwealth) couldn’t handle a Mike O’Neill (USC) groundball.  Keith Castillo (USC) made the Bombers pay, launching a double to the right field wall, plating the lone run of the game. Battle Creek did mount a few threats in the game, but Handley was in control the whole way.  In all, the Bombers left nine men stranded, six in scoring position. The win brings Alexandria to within a game of first place, with one game left before the all-star break.  Matt Fyffe (Eastern Kentucky) gets the nod for the Beetles on Sunday afternoon, with a 3:05 PM CDT first pitch slated.  Right-hander Josh McElwee (Newberry) will counter for the Bombers.

La Crosse 4 – Rochester 1

The La Crosse Loggers came out on the winning end of a 4-1 ball game against the Rochester Honkers Saturday night in Copeland Park infront of the biggest crowd for the season (3,792).  La Crosse took a 1-1 game into the bottom of the ninth inning when they were able to win it on another game winning home run. The Honkers got on the board early with an RBI groundout in the first inning by Rance Roundy (UNLV) to take the 1-0 lead.  Roundy continued his clutch early play as he robbed Greg Holt (UNC) of a home run the following inning to keep the score in favor of the Honkers.  La Crosse was able to tie the game at one in the bottom of the fifth when Aaron Gates scored on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Bret Mitchell (Mankato St.).  The game remianed 1-1 until the bottom of the ninth inning when Loggers catcher Rob Brantly (UC-Riverside) stepped to the plate and sealed the deal for La Crosse.  Before Brantly got up Robert Abel reached on a single and was bunted over to second before Chris Engell reached base on a fielders choice and Brantly took over from there.  On the second pitch of the at-bat Brantly hit a game winning three run home run over the right field wall to earn yet another walk off win for the Loggers. Loggers starting pitcher Steve Gruver (Tennessee) went seven innings allowing one run on three hits upon earning a no-decision.  Matt Bywater (Pepperdine) ended up picking up his second win of the year after he pitched the last two thirds of the ninth inning for La Crosse allowing one hit but getting two crucial strikeouts to end the Honkers half of the inning.  Rob Brantly had just one hit on the night but it was a big one as it drove in the game winning three runs.

St. Cloud 4 – Thunder Bay 3

Dan Betteridge (Rutgers) hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning to catapult the St. Cloud River Bats (9-5) to a 4-3 win over Thunder Bay (7-7) and into a first place tie in the north division standings. With Rochester’s 4-1 loss at La Crosse, the Bat now sit percentage points ahead of the Honkers (10-6). Nick Sutherland (Youngstown State) earned his fourth win, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over six innings. Matt Summers (UC Irvine) threw the final three innings and earned his first save of the season. The Bats struck first in the second inning on a two-RBI single from Adam Weisenburger (Miami of Ohio). The Border Cats chipped away with single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game. A Cameron Smith (New Mexico) RBI single in the sixth inning gave the Border Cats a 3-2 advantage. A half inning later, the Bats produced two runs on three hits capped off with the Betteridge single.

Duluth 1 – Waterloo 0

The Duluth Huskies were led to victory by strong pitching against the Waterloo Bucks. Drew Benes (Arkansas State) started on the mound and pitched 7 strong innings giving up only five hits and zero runs with five strike-outs. The game was held scoreless until the eighth inning when Jerico Weitzel (Florida) scored on a passed ball after reaching base with a single and advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Sommerfeld (Parkway South H.S.). Matt Patterson came into the game during the ninth inning to close for the Huskies and earned his eighth save of the season. Other notables were Nick Rickles (Stetson) who was 2-for-3 at the plate and Doug Joyce (Florida International) who also went 2-for-3 with a double. The Huskies had seven hits on the night with only one blemish in the field and gave up zero runs.

Wisconsin 5 – Green Bay 3

Dixon Anderson tossed a no-hitter through six innings of play, before the Green Bay defense began to commit fielding errors. Wisconsin took advantage for a 5-3 series opening victory on Saturday night at Jones Sign Field inside Joannes Stadium. Green Bay’s starter Anderson (California) was superb through six innings on the bump. Minus the opening frame unearned run that he allowed, he recorded four strikeouts and induced three 1-2-3 innings. Anderson was credited with a no decision after allowing two runs in the seventh frame. The wheels began to fall off from the seventh inning on for the Bullfrogs. Green Bay’s second baseman, Riley Henricks (Portland) booted what appeared to by a pair of easy ground balls, while its right fielder Jacob House (Arkansas) also bobbled a ball. Wisconsin took advantage by scoring twice in the seventh and adding two more in the eighth. Ben Long (UW-Milwaukee) smashed the only extra base hit for Wisconsin – a triple in the seventh – to lead its offense. In total, the Woodchucks scored five runs, but three were unearned. Chris Schaeffer (North Carolina State) hit a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to a season-best five-consecutive games, while the Bullfrogs 6-7-8 hitters each recorded a hit on the night. Jared Andreoli (Western Kentucky) had Green Bay’s only extra base knock with a triple in the seventh. Anderson earned a no decision after he allowed three runs – two earned – to go along with five strikeouts and two walks. Wisconsin marked the scoreboard in the opening inning with an unearned run to take a 1-0 advantage. Chad Wright (Kentucky) was hit-by-a-pitch and made a spectacular play by stealing home. It was the second time this season that an opponent has stolen home against Green Bay. The Bullfrogs bounced back in its half of the inning with a two-spot for a 2-1 lead. Green Bay took advantage of a pair of Woodchuck throwing errors, with Joel Hutter (Des Moines Area CC) and Paul Hoenecke (UW-Milwaukee) scoring. Long hit a line shot, triple, off the base of the wall in right center to begin the seventh inning for Wisconsin. He was driven home by Cody Koback’s (UW-Stevens Point) pinch-hit single. Three batters later, Koback was plated on a Wright single for a Woodchuck 3-2 advantage. Kyle Robinson (Indian River State College) started Green Bay’s half of the seventh with a single. Andreoli followed with a rope shot of the wall in right center for a triple to tie the contest at three runs apiece. A pair of Green Bay miscues in the eighth allowed Wisconsin extra opportunities for base runners. The Woodchucks took advantage of those opportunities by plating two runs for a 5-3 lead. Scott Fern (Minnesota) was credited with the loss in 1.2 innings on the work. He gave up two hits and two runs, to go along with a strikeout and a walk.

Mankato 7 – Brainerd 4

The Mankato MoonDogs pitching staff dodged bullets all night and the offense came up with several timely hits; two of which came from Tony Strazzara and Jimmy Patterson to give the MoonDogs a 7-4 victory over Brainerd Saturday evening at Franklin Rogers Park. MoonDog (32-17, 9-7) pitching worked out of jams all night, stranding 11 Lunker (24-24, 8-7) baserunners, seven of which were in scoring position. Those numbers included two bases loaded opportunities squandered by the Lunkers. The first came in the sixth, when Alex Burgos (Manatee CC) came out of the bullpen to strike out TJ Berge (Northern Colorado) and Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota) to keep it a 3-3 game. John Brebbia (Elon) got out of a similar jam in the eighth, striking out Berge and getting Kvasnicka to line out to right to preserve a 5-4 Mankato lead. With the MoonDogs clinging to the one-run lead in the eighth, Strazzara (San Diego) came up with a huge hit, lacing a line drive double off the base of the left field wall, scoring Durant and Brenden Webb (Palomar CC) to make it a 7-4 game. Strazzara’s hit gave the Dogs a big sigh of relief, but it was Patterson who had the winning hit in the seventh. With two out and AJ Pettersen (Minnesota) on second, Patterson laced a 1-0 offering from Mike Gedman (UMASS) through the right side, putting the Dogs up for good. Brebbia picked up his third save of the season by striking out four in his two innings of scoreless relief. Burgos picked up the victory (2-2) by throwing one and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball himself. Gedman allowed five runs, but was let down by shaky defense, resulting in just one of those runs being earned. At one point he had retired 10 of 11 MoonDog batters, but still came away the loser, falling to 3-2 on the summer. After Berge doubled home the first Lunker run in the third, the MoonDogs exploded for four runs in the bottom of the inning. Four Lunker errors, played a large role in that, as Jimmy Patterson (Arizona State) and Ryan Durant (Iowa) posted RBI singles, and Brian Haar (San Diego) laced an RBI double to cap the big inning. Patterson went 2-3 with two RBI on the evening, while Durant collected three hits, two runs and an RBI. Justin Gominsky (Minnesota) posted 3 hits and an RBI to pace a 14-hit Lunker attack. The Lunkers nearly doubled the MoonDogs in the hit column, finishing with a 14-8 advantage. Shon Roe (Loyola Marymount), Nate Hammes (St. Cloud State) and Berge all had two hits for the Lunkers.