Waterloo 6 – Eau Claire 1
Starting pitcher Jarod Wagoner (Butler) fired seven and two-thirds innings of four-hit ball with six strikeouts thrown in to lead the Waterloo Bucks to a crucial 6-1 Northwoods League win over Eau Claire Tuesday night. The Bucks (13-10 second half, 23-33 overall) used a pair of two-hit and one-RBI games from third baseman Troy White (Northern Illinois) and Josh Lyon (Indiana) to fuel the offense. Eau Claire (9-16 second half, 30-25 overall) were topped by infielder Drew Heithoff (Augustana, S.D.) with a hit and a run scored. The victory keeps Waterloo just one game behind Southern Division leading Madison.
Wisconsin 8 – Brainerd 1
Chris Licon (Orange Coast College) threw seven strong innings and Brett Krill (UCLA) went 3-for-4 as the Wisconsin Woodchucks defeated the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers 8-1 in front of 3,486 fans Tuesday night at Athletic Park. The beginning of the game flew by, as neither team put up a run during the first four innings of play. But the Woodchucks opened up the scoring in the fifth, exploding for three runs in the frame. Mike Marshall (Stanford) started the rally with a leadoff double. After Khayyan Norfork (Tennessee) was hit by a pitch and Chad Wright (Kentucky) singled to load the bases, Travis Whitmore (Pittsburgh) hit a sharp grounder that was misplayed by Lunkers shortstop Steven Wickens, allowing two runs to score. Krill then followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0 in favor of the ‘Chucks. Wisconsin tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Marshall started things once again, and was followed by an Eric Fritz (UW-Stevens Point) single. After a sacrifice bunt, Wright knocked in Marshall on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. Whitmore and Krill followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to give the Woodchucks a 6-0 advantage. The Lunkers finally chased Licon after Michael Gedman singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shon Roe in the seventh. But that would be all the Lunkers would get as the Anthony Drobnick (Washington State) came in to finish things in the 6-1 victory. Krill had two RBIs to go along with his three hits to lead the Woodchucks offensively. Fritz added a pair of hits while Marshall scored two runs in the victory. Licon allowed one run on four hits while striking out seven over seven innings as he picked up his first victory of the season. Drobnick was perfect over the final two innings in relief. Lunkers starter Korie Walkley allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits in five innings of work as he took the loss in his first start of the season. Charlie Henderson allowed one run on three hits over the final three innings.
Rochester 4 – Duluth 3
Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) had two hits and two RBI to help the Honkers edge the Huskies 4-3 in Duluth on Tuesday night and his schoolmate Nick Ramirez tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Rochester is now 16-7 and remains atop the North Division, while Duluth fell to 8-14. Both teams exchanged runs in the third inning before the Honkers jumped out to a three-run lead in the fifth inning. Chris Auten (New Mexico State) led off the inning with a single against Duluth starter Drew Benes, and John Tommasini (Oregon State) drew a walk two batters later. P.J. Sequeira (Oral Roberts) followed with a RBI single to score Auten, but Jones did the real damage two batters later after Scott Berke (UNLV) drew a walk). Jones connected for a two-run single that scored both Tommasini and Sequeira to give the Honkers a 4-1 lead, and chase Benes from the game. Duluth turned to Alex Kent (Central Missouri State) out of the bullpen, and the right-hander struck out both Danny Brock (St. Louis) and Aaron Dunsmore (Dayton) to escape the inning. But the Huskies nearly came back in the bottom of the inning. Rochester starter Brody Taliaferro (Hutchinson CC) walked Pete Cappetta (Illinois) before recording a strikeout for the first out. Jerico Weitzel (Florida) then followed with a double to drive in Cappetta and make it a 4-2 game. Taliaferro got a groundout for the second out, but Zach Walters (San Diego) singled in Weitzel to bring the score to 4-3. The Honkers turned to the bullpen in Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton), and he got the final out and protected the Honkers lead into the eighth before passing the ball to Scott McGough (Oregon), who retired the two batters he faced in the inning. Mitch Karraker (Oregon) led off the top of the ninth with a triple for the Honkers, but was stranded there when three straight Rochester batters were retired. Arik Sikula (Marshall) came on in the bottom of the ninth for the Honkers and picked up two strikeouts en route to his 17th save, although the Huskies certainly made things interesting. Zac Elgie (Kansas) led things off with a fly ball to right that Dunsmore dropped but was ruled a double. But, with the tying run in scoring position and no outs, Sikula buckled down and got consecutive strikeouts before getting a groundball out to end the game. Jones finished 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Honkers, while both Tommasini and Sequeira were 1-for-4 with a run and a RBI each. Karraker was 2-for-2 with a run scored. Both Weitzel and Walters finished with two hits for the Huskies. Taliaferro went 4.2 innings with six hits and three runs allowed, but the win went to Ramirez for his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. He is now 2-1 on the year. Benes took the loss to fall to 1-2 with his 4.1 inning, eight hit and four run performance.
Madison 6 – Battle Creek 4
Lightning prematurely ended the Battle Creek Bombers- Madison Mallards game on Tuesday night, the Mallards winning by the final score 6-4 in eight innings. The teams came four outs shy of completing the game, but the umpires deemed the lightning strikes were too close for play to continue. After an hour and fifteen minute delay, the game was called final. The Mallards came out determined to split the series in Battle Creek, scoring two runs in the first inning. The leadoff man reached base on an error, and back-to-back singles brought him around to score. The cleanup hitter would then drive a sacrifice fly to left field, giving the Mallards an early 2-0 lead. The Bombers took one of those runs back in the second. Parker Berberet (Cypress) hit a two-out double down the left-field line, scoring Larry Perry (USC-Beaufort) from second. Both Berberet and Perry had good nights offensively for the Bombers. Berberet went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, and Perry went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. In the fourth inning, Mallards’ third baseman Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) hit a ball further than anyone else at C.O. Brown Stadium this season, clearing the 20-foot wall in center field for his seventh home run of the season. But the Bombers would answer right back, scoring two runs on a walk, a double, and a single to tie the game at 3-3. The Mallards broke the game open in the fifth. After Matt Talley (The Citadel) struck out the first batter, a single, double, and a walk would load the bases for designated hitter Joe Patterson (Texas A&M). Patterson hit a ground-ball to third, but an error allowed two Mallards to score. After the Bombers intentionally walked Troy Channing, the Mallards would score another run via a sacrifice fly to center. Trailing 6-3, the Bombers tried to rally back in the sixth. Chris Lewis (Western Michigan) led the inning off with a single. He advanced to third one out later on a double by Joe Van Meter (VCU). The next batter, Larry Perry, blooped an RBI single to right, and the Bombers were working their way back into the game. But a foul fly-out and a weak liner to first ended the Bombers rally. In the top of the ninth the lightning came, and the umpires were forced to delay the game until they deemed the conditions safe to play. Knowing the playoff implications they continued waiting, hoping the game could be completed. But that time never came. Per Northwoods League rules, the Madison Mallards won an eight-inning contest.
St. Cloud 8 – Mankato 4
Tony Renda led a resurgent St. Cloud offense a night after getting no-hit. Renda went a perfect 3-3 with four runs and an RBI to lead the River Bats to an 8-4 victory at Franklin Rogers Park Tuesday. St. Cloud shook off Tim Griffin’s no-hitter by jumping on Mankato starter Zach Whitman (Georgia Southwestern) for two early runs in the first. With two outs Danny Oh (California) singled, Renda (California) was hit by a pitch and Matt Summers (UC-Irvine) singled to bring in a run. An error on the play gave the River Bats their second run. The MoonDogs (34-22, 11-12) kept pace with the Bats (26-29, 13-8) the entire game, keeping within one run for much of the contest until the eighth inning. The Bats finally pulled away with a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to give themselves breathing room. In the eight, Renda led off with a walk and eventually came around on a passed ball to make it 6-4. In the ninth Jonathan Roof (Michigan St.) singled in the first run of the inning and eventually came around on Renda’s third hit of the evening for the final 8-4 cushion. The MoonDogs had just four hits on the evening, as four different Dogs provided them. Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) and Taylor Black (Kentucky) had the two RBI for Mankato. Oh had two runs for the River Bats, while four separate Bats had RBI. Whitman suffered the loss for the MoonDogs falling to 3-5 on the summer after five and one-third innings and allowing five earned runs. Barry Rooks (Florida Atlantic) earned his first win in his first start, going five innings of his own, and working around six walks.
La Crosse 8 – Green Bay 4
La Crosse used a pair of home runs and a solid pitching performance from its starter to earn the, 8-4, victory on Tuesday night at Copeland Park. La Crosse (12-10, 33-23) built itself a comfortable six-run cushion after four innings of play. Chris Engell (San Diego) capped the scoring outburst with a three-run home run in the fourth inning. On the mound, starter Richie Erath (Florida Gulf Coast) held Green Bay at in check until the sixth inning. Green Bay (8-14, 22-33) tallied a trio of runs in the sixth, but its deficit was too much to overcome. It did, however, make one final attempt at a comeback in the ninth. It loaded the bases, but popped out to the catcher to end the contest. Erath went seven strong innings to earn the victory. He gave up five hits and three runs, but struck out two. Chris Crumbly (Florida Gulf Coast) earned the save. Collin Kuhn (Arkansas), Kyle Robinson (Indian River State College), and Nick O’Shea (Minnesota) each tallied two hits to lead the Green Bay offense. Riley Henricks (Portland) scored twice, while Robinson recorded two RBIs. Kuhn and Aaron Conway each stole a base for the Bullfrogs. Conway increased his NWL-leading stolen base total to 29 on the season. Engel finished with two hits, two runs scored, and four RBIs for La Crosse. Austin Knight (Dallas Baptist) led all base runners with three runs scored. Brent Ebinger (Lambuth) was credited with the loss after giving up six runs and scattering six hits. He struck out a pair, but walked four in 3.1 innings on the mound. La Crosse jumped out to a 6-0 lead after it scored a run in the first, two in the third, and three in the fourth frame. Engell capped the scoring outburst with a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Morgan Mickan (Texas) and Knight scored on the blast after reaching on a walk and single, respectively. Green Bay scored a trio of runs in the sixth inning to cut its deficit to 6-3. Kyle Robinson (Indian River State College) hit a two-out two-RBI single to right field, scoring Conway and Kuhn. Nick O’Shea (Minnesota) followed with a single to score Henricks. Aaron Gates (Pepperdine) laced his sixth home run of the season in the seventh frame to increase the Loggers lead to 7-3. Green Bay and La Crosse exchanged runs in the eighth frame. Henricks scored his second run of the night for Green Bay, while Engell his a sacrifice bunt to score Thomas Collins (Nebraska).
Alexandria @ Thunder Bay
Tyler Mills (Michigan) punched a two out, two run single in the top of the ninth inning breaking a scoreless game, and Alexandria hung on to beat Thunder Bay 2-1. The game was delayed three hours by rain and the ninth inning was played in a downpour that soaked the field at Port Arthur Stadium. The Border Cats scratched across a run in the last of the ninth on an RBI single by David Phillips (Ole Miss), but Alexandria starter Matt Fyffe (Eastern Kentucky) struck out pinch hitter Adam Courcha (New Mexico) with the tying run at second base to end the game. Fyffe struck out 12 in going the distance as he improved his record to 2-3. The Beetles righthander allowed eight hits and one run as Alexandria moved to 12-9. Randy Mower (St. Joseph’s) took the loss in relief for Thunder Bay to fall to 4-4. Border Cats righthander Chris Marlowe (Navarro) had a solid outing in his first start of the season. Marlowe pitched seven scoresless innings, allowing just three hits while fanning 10. The loss ended Thunder Bay’s winning streak at four games and evened their record at 11-11.
Photo: Peter Thomson; La Crosse Tribune