Rochester 15 – Madison 9
In a game that defied any logical parameterization, the Honkers were no-hit through four innings and found themselves trailing 7-0, but 12 walks, four hit batsmen, three wild pitches, and a few timely hits in the middle innings allowed the Honkers to rally for 15-9 win over the South Division leading Madison Mallards. Rochester scored four runs in the fifth and a whopping 10 in the sixth, which was punctuated by a three-run double by Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton), to complete the rally. Rochester is now 21-10 in the second half while Madison fell to 16-12. St. Cloud also lost tonight, so Rochester’s magic number to clinch the division and a playoff berth is now at three with five games to play. The Mallards jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a solo home run by Joe Patterson (Texas A&M) against Honker starter Drew Gagnon (Long Beach State) with two outs. Patterson jumped on the first pitch he saw, and smashed it well over the wall just to the right of the batter’s eye. Things got worse for the Honkers in the second, as a walk and two singles loaded the bases with no outs for the Mallards. Gagnon got a pop up for the first out, but a single and a hit batsman allowed two runs to score. The big blow came on the next batter, Jerrud Sabourin (Indiana), who lifted a fly ball into the right field corner for a two run double to make the score 5-0. Gagnon would get two strikeouts to escape the inning without further damage. Madison wouldn’t score again until the fifth, when they chased Gagnon and tagged him for two more runs. The way Nick Rice (MATC) was pitching early, though, those extra runs didn’t look like they would matter. Rochester still didn’t have a hit through four innings, but all that was about to change. In the bottom of the fifth, and it came off the bat on Scott Berke (UNLV) on a high fly ball to right center that both the center and right fielders for Madison lost in the night sky. The single came after two walks, though and gave the Honkers an opportunity with one out and the bases loaded. William Arnold (Central Michigan) brought in a run on a fielder’s choice and John Tommasini (Oregon State) and Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) followed with RBI singles to make it 7-3. Rance Roundy (UNLV) smoked a ball in to the left field corner in the next at bat to score another run, but Jones was thrown out at the plate to end the inning with the score 7-4. Madison got two runs back again in the sixth to take a 9-4 lead, but their pitchers gave it all back in the bottom half of the inning. Jordan Hershiser (USC) came on to start the inning and had no control whatsoever—walking two, hitting two, and throwing two wild pitches without recording an out. It took Madison two more batters to get through the inning, and five total walks and three hit batsmen occurred in the inning. Corey Jones delivered an RBI single to give the Honkers the lead at 10-9, and five batters later it would be Ramirez, who had already walked and scored in the inning, smacked a bases-clearing double that put Rochester on top 14-9. When the dust finally settled, Rochester had scored 10 runs, all of them earned, and sent 14 men to the plate. Nine of the first 10 men to bat in the inning reached safely. The game quieted from there, as Ramirez pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Brody Taliaferro (Hutchinson CC)—who finished the fifth and pitched the sixth for the Honkers—and Scott McGough (Oregon) tossed a perfect ninth to close out the victory. Taliaferro got the win in relief to move to 2-0 on the year as the Honkers bailed out Gagnon, who allowed seven earned runs in just 4.2 innings. The loss went to Cameron Amsrud (UW-Milwaukee), who got one out and allowed two runs in the Honkers 10-run sixth, and he fell to 0-2 on the year. Jones had three hits for the Honkers, while Danny Brock (St. Louis), Drew Beuerlein (UNLV) and Danny Pulfer (Oregon) each scored three runs for the Honkers.
Thunder Bay 9 – Alexandria 1
In front of the third largest crowd in team history, Alexandria’s slim playoff hopes were all but dashed, as Thunder Bay peppered Matt Fyffe (Eastern Kentucky) in a 9-1 rout of the Beetles. Luis Castillo (Bellevue) benefited from four double plays in the first five innings, en route to his fourth win of the season. The Border Cats led from start to finish, getting an two-RBI double from A.J. Schugel (Central Arizona CC) in the third inning. A Marcus Semien (Cal-Berkeley) error led to another ‘Cats run in the fifth against Fyffe, before Thunder Bay broke the game open with a two-run sixth. The first four reached in the top of the sixth, including a Curtis Wagner (Santa Clara) double. RBI’s by Eli Tupuola (Viterbo) and Sean Claugherty (St. Scholastica) knocked the All-Star right-hander from the game after six innings of work. In the eighth, with the deficit at 6-0, Alexandria mounted a rally against Castillo, ousting from the game after a pair of walks put runners at the corners. Andy Omilian (Madonna) entered and gave up an RBI single to Mike O’Neill (USC), before walking Tim Roberson (FGCU) to load the bases. With two out, Omilian locked into a duel with Keith Castillo (USC) and on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, got Castillo to swing through a fastball, ending the inning and the threat. For good measure, Thunder Bay tacked on three more runs in the ninth without recording a hit. Tom Kordiak (MSU-Mankato) walked the first three batters he faced in his Beetles debut, then hit another to bring in a run. A pair of wild pitches brought in the other two runs. Alexandria would load the bases in the ninth, but come up empty handed.
Brainerd 9 – St. Cloud 8
Closer Drew Smith (Barton CC) induced a fly ball to end the three-run rally in the ninth inning, and keep the 9-8 Lunkers victory in tact over the St. Cloud River Bats at Joe Faber Field. The win is the Lunkers fourth consecutive, which ties a season high mark. The Lunkers offense sparked early behind the bat of David Valesente (St. Joseph’s). Valesente smoked a 2-RBI double down the leftfield line to put the Lunkers up. Then, a sacrifice fly by Shon Roe (Loyola Marymount) brought home the third run of the inning. The River Bats plated two behind a triple to cut the deficit to just one. However, in the fourth, the Lunkers brought nine men to the plate and scored four runs behind four walks, two hit batsmen, and a wild pitch. St. Cloud sliced the lead back down to two a few innings later though, behind a three-run homer. In the ninth, an RBI groundout by Mike Gedman (UMass) and RBI single into center by Brenden Furrow (Concordia-St. Paul) lifted the lead back to four. Trailing, 9-5 St. Cloud brought eight men to the plate against closer Drew Smith (Barton CC) in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back defensive miscues put men on the corners, and then the middle of the River Bat order ripped a pair of RBI hits to plate three runs. With the tying run on third and game winner on second, Smith induced a fly ball to end the game. Hunter Nolen (Northern Colorado) and Mike Gedman each finished with two hits apiece. Nolen was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and two runs scored. He reached base safely four times in five at-bats. Starter Matt Mullendore (Hamline) tossed seven innings, allowed five runs on seven hits, and struck out two in the victory.
Duluth 2 – Mankato 1 (10 Inn.)
The Duluth Huskies (10-20) beat the Mankato MoonDogs (14-16) 2-1 in 10 innings Wednesday night. Duluth won when Todd Baumgartner (Arkansas St) laced a single up the middle scoring Pete Cappetta (Illinois). The team was carried by starting pitcher Sean Yost (Nebraska) who threw 8 innings allowing 1 run on 6 hits. The game was tied when Yost left the game, and Brodie Brumley got the win pitching the 10th giving up 1 hit. Baumgartner led the team with 4 hits one being the game winning single. Five other Huskie hitters each had 1 hit apiece, and Andy Burns (Kentucky) roped a home run over the left field wall. Zac Elgie (Kansas) also added to the hits with a double.
Green Bay 10 – Battle Creek 8
Green Bay’s bats let loose on Wednesday night as it put on an offensive highlight show for a 10-8 victory over Battle Creek inside C.O. Brown Stadium. Paul Hoenecke (UW-Milwaukee) was one of the many Bullfrog batters to drive in a run. While he pushed three runs across the plate, Aaron Conway (Missouri State) and Collin Kuhn (Arkansas) also recorded two RBIs. It was the second time this season that Green Bay (13-17, 27-36) tallied double-digit runs, the first for a win though. In total, four different runners crossed the plate twice and nine batters recorded at least a hit. Speedsters Conway and Kuhn showed they could do more than hit the ball, as they each scored twice. Their teammates Pat Wolard (St. Cloud State) and Sam VandenHeuvel (Rhode Island), also did the same by scoring twice. Alan Denman (UCS-Sumter) led the Bombers with a 3-for-5 performance, to go along with three runs scored. His brother Chris added two hits and also scored twice. Tim Jolly (La Verne) tossed six innings to earn his first win of the season. He struck out three, but gave up eight hits and seven runs. It didn’t matter because when he was pulled in the seventh he still had a three run lead. The win ties him for the all-time win mark in Green Bay history. Alex Schmarzo (Saint Mary’s) earned his seventh save of the year after fanning two in the ninth. Battle Creek jumped out to a 5-0 lead – three in the first and two in the second – after two innings of competition. A sacrifice fly by Joe Van Meter (Virginia Commonwealth) and Mike Murphy (Arizona State) each plated a run, while A. Denman scored on a wild pitch. Josh Valle (Marshall) also scored on a throwing error and Chris Lewis (Western Michigan) hit a RBI single. Green Bay responded in a big way with 10 runs over the fifth and sixth frames to take a 10-5 lead. On three-consecutive at-bats in the fifth the Bullfrogs plated four runs. Conway hit a RBI single, while Kuhn belted a RBI double to right field. Hoenecke finished the inning with a two-out two-RBI double to left-center field. The Bullfrogs batted around the order and ran up six of their 10 runs during the sixth frame. Joel Hutter (Des Moines Area CC) and Kuhn each recorded a RBI walk. Conway and Hoenecke tallied RBI singles, while Riley Henricks (Portland) hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Kuhn capped the frame scoring off an attempted pickoff. The Bombers didn’t go away easy as they plated two runs in the seventh and one in the eight to cut the deficit to two runs, 10-8. C. Denman ran home on a wild pitch prior to Valle driving in A. Denman on a RBI single. Parker Berberet (Cypress College) scored Battle Creek’s eighth run of the evening on a throwing error. Eddie Sipple (Florida Southern College) took the loss after scattering nine hits and allowing six earned runs in 5.1 innings on the hill.
La Crosse 3 – Eau Claire 1
The La Crosse Loggers kept their playoff hopes alive Wednesday night as they topped the Eau Claire Express 3-1 at Copeland Park infront of a season high 4,520 fans. The Loggers picked up all three of their runs in the first inning when Justin Preckajlo (North Florida) hit a three run home run to take the early lead. Loggers starting pitcher Tony Mueller (Winona St.) pitched six innings allowing one unearned run as Drew Heithoff (Augustana) scored on a passed ball. The score would remain 3-1 throughout the rest of the game as Craig Crumbly (Florida Gulf Coast) came in and pitched the top of the ninth picking up his tenth save of the year. Picking up his first win of the year was Loggers starting pitcher Tony Mueller who struck out six batters and only allowed three hits in his six innings of work. Offensively, Justin Preckajlo drove in all three Logger runs with his home run in the bottom of the first inning. Aaron Gates (Pepperdine) was the only Logger who picked up multiple hits as he went 2-4 with a double. Thursday the Loggers look to complete the two game series sweep as they travel to Eau Claire to take on the Express in another game with big playoff implications. Madison Boer (Oregon) is expected to get the start for La Crosse looking to earn his fourth win of the season.
Wisconsin 3 – Waterloo 1
In a rare day-game at Riverfront Stadium, the 1,291 fans in attendance were treated to a pitcher’s duel between the Bucks (14-16 second half, 24-39 overall) and the visiting Woodchucks (13-15 second half, 26-36 overall) that ended with Wisconsin on top 3-1. Bucks starting pitcher Chris Pack (Villanova) went eight strong innings, allowing only two earned runs off nine hits while striking out five, only to be outdone by the Woodchucks Bryce Butt (Ohio). Butt, now 7-0 on the season, pitched a four-hit, one-run complete game. Held to only one hit through the first seven innings, the Bucks battled back in the bottom of the eighth after catcher Josh Lyon (Indiana), who tripled to lead off the inning, was batted in by third baseman Troy White (Northern Illinois), but were quickly shut down by Butt. The Bucks were guided offensively by left fielder Pat Stover (Santa Clara) who finished 2-for-4 with a double.