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NWL Roundup 7/29

Rochester 11 – Alexandria 3

After waiting out a rain delay of nearly a hour, the Honkers pounded out 11 hits en route to a lopsided 11-3 victory over the Beetles on Wednesday night in Alexandria. P.J. Sequeira (Oral Roberts) scored two runs and drove in three more while Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) scored two and drove in two with his first home run to power the victory. The Honkers are now 17-7 while Alexandria fell to 12-10. Rochester scored three unearned runs in the first inning thanks to a pair of Alexandria errors, but it was a fourth inning explosion that put the game away before it was even half over. Already ahead 3-0, Danny Brock (St. Louis) and Aaron Dunsmore (Dayton) started the inning with consecutive singles against Alexandria starter Chase Porch (North Alabama). Danny Pulfer (Oregon) laid down a sacrifice bunt and Brock scored on a wild pitch one batter later. Nick Ramirez drew a walk and Scott Berke (UNLV) followed that up with an RBI single to make it a 5-0 game. After a fly ball for the second out Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) singled to load the bases and Sequeira followed with a three-run double and Drew Beuerlein (UNLV) added an RBI single right after to make the score 9-0. Porch would escape the inning, but not pitch any farther in the game. Meanwhile Jeff Burleson (Oral Roberts) pitched will for the Honkers, but Alexandria got some runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Tom Roberson (Florida Gulf Coast) and Keith Castillo (USC) started off with consecutive singles, and an error two batters later allowed Roberson to score. The error also gave the Beetles an extra out to work with, and they took advantage. Sean Olenek (Mercer) singled to drive in two more runs and cut the Honkers lead to 9-3. Burleson got out of the inning without any more trouble, though, and pitched six total innings without allowing another run to earn the win. No other runs would score in the game until the eighth when Rochester put up a pair on Ramirez’s homer to run their lead to 11-3. Sequeira had jus the one hit, but lead the offense with the two runs scored and three RBI, while Beuerlein, Brock and Berke each had two hits on the game. No Beetles batter had more than one hit, and Olenek had the only RBI of the game for Alexandria with two. Burleson allowed six hits and no earned runs in six innings to move his record to 3-3. Porch took the loss to fall to 3-6 and pitched four innings allowing seven hits and nine total runs (six earned).

Green Bay 8 – Eau Claire 6 (Game 1)

Eau Claire 6 – Green Bay 5 (Game 2)

The Eau Claire Express struggled Wednesday in their return to Carson Park, but they were able to salvage a double-header split nonetheless.  The Green Bay Bullfrogs took game one by a score of 8-6, but the Express battled back to take game two 5-4. In game one, pitcher Kenny Lidke (Augustana) made his Express debut on the mound. Lidke just arrived to town, but because of a depleted pitching staff, he was forced into duty right away.  He struggled early, but settled down as the game went on.  He was also not helped by some early Express errors.  Lidke ended up going six innings and allowing seven runs, all of which were earned. Green Bay jumped out to an early lead and made it tough for the Express to come back. They did battle to make it close, but every time they came back Green Bay would answer.  Robbie Knight (Creighton) led the way offensively with three hits and Drew Heithoff (Augustana) had two. In a rare day-night double-header, the two teams took a couple hours off before resuming play for the regularly scheduled game.  Matt Klein (NE JC) started on the mound for the Express.  Klein worked his way out of trouble early, but ran out of luck as the game wore on.  The Bullfrogs scored two runs in the third and two runs in the fourth to end Klein’s night. Ian Campbell (Yavapai) has been one of the most consistent relief pitchers for a thin Express bullpen this season.  Campbell takes the ball whenever he is asked to and he has done that with much success.  In the first game Campbell pitched two innings and allowed only one run. But his most important outing came in the nightcap. Campbell came in facing a 4-2 deficit and needed to keep the game close. Campbell did just that as he pitched three scoreless innings to give the Express a chance. The Express scored one run in the fifth and two in the sixth and they took the lead 5-4. Kole Calhoun (Arizona St.) came on to pitch the eighth inning with the Express up by one.  Calhoun pitched two perfect innings and earned the save for the Express who desperately needed a win. Bobby Rinard (Yavapai) accounted for over half of the Express hits with four. The Bullfrogs outhit the Express 11-7 but Eau Claire was able to take advantage when they had too. 

Thunder Bay 3 – Mankato 2 (10 Inn.)

A.J. Schugel (Central Arizona College) blooped a game winning single in the bottom of the tenth as Thunder Bay rallied for two runs to knock off Mankato 3-2.  David Phillips (Ole Miss) scored the winning run after doubling home Matty Johnson (Bellevue) with the tying run.  Phillips had a big night at the plate going 3-4 with a pair of doubles and a solo home run, his first of the season. Johnson and Aaron Munoz (Gateway CC) both had two hits as the Border Cats improved to 12-11. Mankato catcher Kyle Knudson (Minnesota) tied the game 1-1 with a lead off home run in the top of the ninth inning, his second of the year.  Jimmy Patterson (Arizona State) went 2-5 as the MoonDogs slipped to 11-13. Miguel Valcarcel (St. John’s) pitched six shutout innings for Thunder Bay, but ended up with a no decision. Valcarcel allowed five hits, while walking two and striking out four.  Mankato starter James Wise (Washington State) went seven innings and gave up one run on six hits.  Wise walked two and struck out six. Tyler Powell (Belmont Abbey) got the final two outs of the tenth inning to pick up the win for Thunder Bay and even his record at 3-3.  John Brebbia (Elon) took the loss to fall to 1-4.

St. Cloud 4 – Duluth 3

Tony Renda (California) lined a base hit to right field in the ninth inning off of Chris Jensen (San Diego) to secure a 4-3 Bats win over the Duluth Huskies, winning in walk-off fashion for the second time in a week. The Rochester Honkers (17-7) defeated Alexandria 11-3, so the Bats remain two games off the pace in the north division. The River Bats (14-8) trailed 3-0 entering the last of the eighth against Drew Smily (Arkansas), who struck out 12 in 7.2 innings of work in the no decision. In the eigth, Matt Fanelli (Washington State) lined a two-RBI single to right center field off reliever Smily to make it a one-run game. Brodie Brumbley (Harding College) recorded the final out of the inning, before coming out again in the ninth inning in a save situation. Dan Betteridge (Rutgers) began the inning with a double down the line in left. He advanced to third on a Jonathan Roof (Michigan State), before scoring on a Brian Humphries (Pepperdine) bunt. Roof scored on the Renda single to right field. With a scoreless ninth inning, Xavier Esquivel (1-0) earned the win. Pedro Ramos (Glendale C.C.) got a no decision, allowing three runs, all earned, on 11 hits over five innings. Eric Marzec (Youngstown State) tossed three scoreless innings of middle relief. Danny Oh (California) and Humphries each collected two hits.

Brainerd 5 – Wisconsin 4 (12 Inn.)

With the rain falling in the bottom of the 12th inning, David Valesente (St. Joseph’s) lambasted his biggest hit of the year to the leftfield wall to bring home pinch-runner Brian Garman (Cincinnati) to give the Lunkers the 5-4 victory over the Battle Creek Bombers. The Lunkers offense found life early on as Dennis O’Grady (Duke) started the game with a single. Then, he was brought home on Mike Gedman’s (UMass) RBI single into right to put the Lunkers up, 1-0. In the third, Gedman added another run to the scoreboard. His 2-RBI double smoked down the third base line scored T.J. Berge (Northern Colorado) from second. However, just an inning later, the Bombers brought seven men to the plate and scored three runs, including two on a double to right-center, to take the lead. After that point, Battle Creek had multiple scenarios to score runs. They consistently had men in scoring position over the next three innings but the Lunkers stood firm defensively to keep the deficit within striking distance. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Dennis O’Grady shot a pitch to left for a double. Then, T.J. Berge lofted a fly ball into shallow centerfield, and as three Bomber defenders converged, a lack of communication allowed the ball to drop. O’Grady managed to score on the Battle Creek miscue to tie the game up at three. Both clubs faltered in the 10th, but in the 11th, the Bombers regained the lead off of an RBI single. The Lunkers answered right back though, as Zack Stewart (Ohio Dominican) singled with one out. Stewart moved to second on a single and to third on a walk. Then with the bases loaded, a wild pitch tied up the ballgame as Stewart came home to score. In the 12th, the Lunkers stuck the nail in Battle Creek’s coffin. A huge one-out double blasted to the right-center gap off the bat of Hunter Nolen (Northern Colorado) served as the catalyst to Valesente’s game winner. The Lunkers offense finally burst out of their shell as they finished with 14 hits on the night. Dennis O’Grady, Mike Kvasnicka (Minnesota), Mike Gedman, and David Valesente each finished with two apiece. On the mound, starter Matt Mullendore (Hamline) lasted four innings, allowed three runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out two in the no decision. The win went to Mike Frongello (Davidson) who tossed five strong innings, gave up just three hits, and only one run.

Wisconsin 6 – Waterloo 1

Bryce Butt (Ohio) recorded his second consecutive complete game victory and Brett Krill (UCLA) blasted a two-run home run to left field as the Wisconsin Woodchucks won their eighth game in nine tries Wednesday night with a 6-1 win over the Waterloo Bucks. The Woodchucks took command right out of the gate, putting up two runs in the first. Travis Whitmore (Pittsburght) walked, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Ben Long (UW-Milwaukee). Long scored the second run of the frame after an error by Waterloo shortstop Adrian Williams. Carson Vitale (Creighton) led off the second inning with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Chad Wright (Kentucky) to push the Woodchucks lead to 3-0. The Bucks showed signs of life in the fifth. Pat Stover led off with a double, and came around to score after a couple of groundouts. Fortunately, that would be all of the scoring for the Bucks on the evening. The Woodchucks came right back in the bottom of the fifth, as Krill provided his answer with a two-run shot over the left field wall to give the Woodchucks a 5-1 advantage. The ‘Chucks tacked on another run in the seventh, and that would be plenty for Butt who recorded his third complete game victory of the season. Butt, now tied for the league lead in wins with six, allowed just one run on six hits while striking out four and did not walk a batter. With the win, Butt lowered his ERA to 1.08 which ranks second in the league. Scott Williams suffered the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits while striking two and walking three in five innings. Krill’s home run was the highlight offensively for the Woodchucks, as they put up just four hits in the contest. Michael Giller had a game-high two hits for the Bucks in the loss.

La Crosse 10 – Madison 2

The La Crosse Loggers were victorious in the first of a crucial two-game set Wednesday night, defeating the host Madison Mallards 10-2 in front of 7,465 fans at Warner Park in Madison. Madison jumped out early in this contest with a run in their half of the first inning, but after that it was all Loggers.  La Crosse would push across three runs in the second inning against Mallard starter Cody Wianarski and then tack on two more in the fourth to run their lead to 5-2 through four innings. Loggers starter Steven Gruver made sure the Loggers kept the lead as he would keep the Mallards in check through seven innings.  Gruver would surrender just the two runs on eight hits while striking out six to earn his team-best sixth win and improve to a perfect 6-0 on the season.  The Loggers have been victorious in every game that Gruver has started this season. The Logger bats would not be finished for the night though as they would score once more in the seventh and four more times in the eighth to break the game open.  La Crosse would pound out 14 hits on the night including a perfect 4-4 performance by catcher Rob Brantly.  Centerfielder Nick Baligod would collect three safeties and Chris Engell, Robert Abel and Morgan Mickan would all add a pair of hits.  Mickan doubled, homered, scored twice and drove in two.