Published On: August 4th, 2009

Mankato 16 – Alexandria 12

Looking at the box score from Tuesday’s game between Mankato and Alexandria would leave just about any pitching coach searching for the aspirin bottle. The two teams combined for 28 runs and 28 hits in the 3:40 marathon, as the MoonDogs used a combined 12 runs in the fourth and fifth innings to top Alexandria 16-12 at Franklin Rogers Park. The MoonDogs (36-24, 13-14) set a season high for runs with the 16-spot and tied their season-high mark in hits with 14. Ryan Durant (Iowa) and Xorge Carillo (Arizona State) paced the attack, as Durant supplied four hits and two runs, while Carillo had three hits and three RBI of his own, including the game winning hit in the fourth. Danny Miller (Minnesota State) also etched his name into the Mankato MoonDogs record books, as he walked three times, breaking the team’s single season record for walks in a season. Things looked bleak early on for the Dogs as they gave back an early one-run lead. Three runs in the second and third put Alexandria (35-26, 15-12) in cruise control with a 6-1 lead. Five different Beetles had at least one RBI in the two-inning outburst, with Marcus Semien (Cal) adding an RBI triple and single. An eight-run fourth put the MoonDogs up for good however, After Bryan Haar (San Diego) led off with a fly out the MoonDogs began the rally. Carillo singled, Strazzara doubled and Nick Judkins (Iowa Central) walked to load the bases. Durant and Miller then had back-to-back run scoring singles through the right side to cut the lead to 6-4. After a fielder’s choice and walk to load the bases, Cody Fick (Evansville) came through with an RBI-walk to cut the Beetle lead to one. Haar then singled to tie the game to setup the biggest hit of the evening, a bases clearing double by Carillo to put the Dogs up for good at 9-6. Lost in all the offense was the pitching of Alex Burgos (State College of Fla.). Burgos came on in relief of starter James Wise (Washington St.) to throw four innings of effective baseball. He allowed just one run on two hits and struck out five to earn his fourth win (4-2). Four runs in the fifth capped off the two big innings for the MoonDogs. After two walks, Evan Kohli (Illinois State) drilled a two-RBI double to the left-center gap to make it an 11-6 game. Two fielding miscues on pop flies, the first coming in the infield and the second coming in short center, allowed two more MoonDog runs for a 13-6 lead. The MoonDogs sent a combined 20 men to the plate in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring 12 runs and adding seven hits. Five different MoonDogs scored multiple runs (KC Serna (Oregon) and Kohli with three; Miller, Fick and Durant with two). Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky) paced the Beetles, going 3-5 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBI. Tim Roberson (FGCU), Chase Porch (North Alabama), Tim Urban (Nebraska-Omaha), Marcus Semien (Cal) and Sean Olenek (Mercer) all had two hits for Alexandria.

Brainerd 9 – Duluth 5

Not even a 15-minute power outage of three light poles around Mills Field could stop the Lunkers offense, which exploded for fourteen hits, in their defeat of the Duluth Huskies, 9-5 in front of 621 fans. Just like in Game One, the Huskies jumped out to the early lead. They brought eight men up in the first, recorded three hits, and two walks in their three-run inning. The Lunkers fought back quickly though. T.J. Berge (Northern Colorado) and Hunter Nolen (Northern Colorado) back smacked RBI doubles to cut the deficit to one. In the second, Duluth extended the lead back to two with an RBI single which followed a two-out triple. That would be the last inning of work for starter Kyle Spurley (MATC). He tossed two innings, allowed four runs on six hits, and walked two in the no decision. After Spurley, the Lunkers inserted Korie Walkley (Cal State-Bakersfield), who shut down the Huskies. The Lunkers tied the game once again in the third. This time, Mike Gedman (UMass) lifted a pitch high in the air and hit it deep enough that it bounced off the top of the right field wall and over the fence for the two-run homer. The run Korie Walkley surrendered came in the fourth off of a sacrifice fly into center. Moments later, Brenden Furrow (Concordia-St. Paul) tied the game with an RBI single into center right before the power delay. Then in the sixth, the Lunkers turned the tables for good. With one out, Stephen Wickens (Florida Gulf Coast) and T.J. Berge knocked a pair of singles to reach, and both came home on Dennis O’Grady’s (Duke) 2-RBI double blasted to the left field wall. After a single by Mike Gedman, Hunter Nolen finished the inning with an RBI single of his own. In all, eight men came to the plate and five recorded hits. Dennis O’Grady finished 3-for-4 on the night with two singles, a double, a walk, three runs scored, and 2 RBI. Stephen Wickens, T.J. Berge, Mike Gedman, Hunter Nolen, and Brenden Furrow all chipped in two hits apiece as well. Reliever Korie Walkley hurled seven innings in long relief, allowed just a single run on only three hits, and struck out six as he picked up his first victory of the year.

Madison 8 – St. Cloud 3

Matt Summers (UC Irvine) tossed six solid innings of relief in a losing effort, as the St. Cloud River Bats (16-11) lost an 8-3 decision to the Madison Mallards (16-11) in front of 1,995 fans at Joe Faber Field. Summers allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits over six frames. The right-hander struck out five and did not walk a batter. The Rochester Honkers (20-10) defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats (13-15) so the Bats are now 2.5 games behind first in the north. The Mallards plated four runs in the first inning and never looked back, receiving RBI doubles from Troy Channing (St. Mary’s) and Jake Esch (Georgia Tech). Down 6-1, the Bats made it a three-run game with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. First, an RBI single from Adam Weisenburger (Miami of Ohio). Dan Betteridge (Rutgers) hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Damon McCormick (Valporaiso) was hit with the loss for Bats, allowing six runs, three earned, on six hits over three innings. Matt Fanelli (Washington State) singled four times and finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored to pace the Bats offensively. Weisenburger amassed two hits, including a double. Danny Oh(California) walked three times.

Rochester 8 – Thunder Bay 7

Thunder Bay out-hit the Honkers 16-12, but it was Rochester that rallied in the middle innings and then survived a Border Cat charge late to hang on to an 8-7 victory. The win completed the season sweep of Thunder Bay for the Honkers, who went 8-0 against the league’s only Canadian team this season. Rochester is now 20-10 in the second half and Thunder Bay fell to 13-15. Rochester remains a league-best 39-23 overall. Just like the night before, the Honkers jumped out to a quick lead with multiple first inning runs. John Tommasini (Oregon State) singled to start the game and Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) followed immediately with a double to drive him in and put Rochester on top 1-0. Danny Pulfer (Oregon) added another run three batters later with an RBI single to make the score 2-0. But the Border Cats answered back quickly, and cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first. Rochester starter Jeff Burleson (Oral Roberts) allowed three straight singles, including an RBI base knock by David Phillips (Ole Miss), before getting out of the inning with the score 2-1. But Thunder Bay wasn’t done, and surged ahead in the second. After getting a double and a single to start the inning, Cameron Smith (New Mexico) singled in a run to tie the game at 2-2 and Matty Johnson followed with another RBI single to give Thunder Bay their first lead at 3-2. Burleson induced a double-play from the next batter he faced, but another run scored on the play the second inning ended with Thunder Bay up 4-2. The Border Cats added another run in the fourth, but the Honkers stormed back in the fifth against Thunder Bay starter Matt Robertson (Barton CC). Tommasini, Jones and Rance Roundy (UNLV) started the inning with three straight singles, and the last scored one run to cut the score to 5-3. The big blow came later in the inning, though, when Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) came up with two outs and two on and smashed a pitch over the wall for a three-run homer to put the Honkers up 6-5. Both teams exchanged runs in the sixth, and the Honkers jumped ahead 8-6 in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Mitch Karraker (Oregon). But Thunder Bay wasn’t done, and closed the gap back to one run in the bottom of the eight against Scott McGough (Oregon). McGough issued a pair of walks to start the inning, and Aaron Munoz (Gateway CC) singled right after to score a run and make the score 8-7. But McGough battled and got a double play and a groundout to escape the inning. But Thunder Bay still had plenty of fight left in them, and staged a rally against Arik Sikula (Marshall) in the ninth. After a flyout to start the inning, three straight singles loaded the bases. Brett Chamberlain (Bellevue) then laid down a bunt that bounced back to Sikula, and he got the force out at the plate for the second out before buckling down to get a strikeout to end the game and earn his league-best 19th save. Burleson didn’t pitch a great six innings—allowing 11 hits and six runs to score—but it was good enough to earn the run and move his record to 4-3. Matt Robertson had a similar day, and took the loss to fall to 5-5 after allowing seven runs on 11 hits in five innings. Tommasini, Jones, Pulfer, Ramirez and Karraker each had two hits for the Honkers, who finished with 12 total. Ramirez had three RBI while Jones added two, and Tommasini scored two runs. Thunder Bay actually managed more hits with 16, and eight of them came from the bottom three hitters in Curtis Wagner (Santa Clara), Munoz and Smith.

Battle Creek 4 – La Crosse 1

The Battle Creek Bombers complete a two-game sweep of the La Crosse Loggers on Tuesday night, the final score 4-1. Both teams sent All-Stars to the mound, and neither would disappoint. Bombers starter Matt Talley (The Citadel) scattered six hits and three walks over seven innings, allowing only one run and picking up his team-leading sixth win. Loggers starter Steve Gruver (Tennessee) also had a solid outing, retiring 15 in a row after a rough start. Gruver’s night ended in the sixth, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. The Bombers came out determined to sweep the Loggers, stringing together back-to-back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the first. Joe Van Meter (VCU) would bring home the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly to right, and the Bombers seemed to have carried over momentum from Monday night’s come-from-behind win. The Loggers would even the score in the fourth. After a single and a walk to start the inning, Thomas Collins (Nebraska) belted a one-out double to left, scoring Robert Brantly (UC-Riverside) from second. With runners on second and third, the Loggers seemed poised for a big inning. But Matt Talley forced the next batter to foul out to third, and a routine ground-ball to short ended the threat. The Loggers threatened again in the fifth. A one-out walk and an infield single put men on first and second with the heart of the order due up. But with both men moving on the pitch, Robert Brantly hit a weak fly ball to short. Mike Murphy (Arizona State) caught the ball and threw over to first to complete the double play, ending another Loggers scoring opportunity. The Bombers would regain the lead in the sixth. Alan Denman (USC-Sumter) led-off the inning with a triple to right, and a single through the left side of the infield by Mike Murphy gave the Bombers a 2-1 advantage. A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Joe Van Meter, who broke the game open with a two-RBI double. The score would stay 4-1, as neither squad allowed a hit over the final three innings. Bombers’ closer RJ Hively (Cal State Fullerton) entered the game in the ninth, striking out the final batter to record his 12th save of the season.

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