Sunday’s Great NWL Games

Waterloo 2, Madison 1
The Mallards had their chances, but couldn’t cash in as the Waterloo Bucks avoid the sweep by winning 2-1 in front of 5,210 at the “Duck Pond.”  Waterloo’s Phil Keppler (Iowa) picks up the win after pitching three innings of shut-out baseball while Luke Putz (Minnesota St.) pitched the eighth and ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the year.  Meanwhile, Mallards’ left-hander Rusty Shellhorn (Washington St.) received the loss after giving up a run on a Tyler Robbins (Dallas Baptist) RBI single in the top of the fourth to put the Bucks’ up 1-0.  In the next inning, Waterloo added another run to extend their lead to 2-0.  Landon Anderson (Dallas Baptist) hit an RBI double to left to score Nick Anderson (Des Moines Area CC) who had previously reached on a triple to lead off the inning.  In the bottom of the seventh, Adam Davis (Illinois) blasted a home-run to the Budweiser Rooftop in left-field to bring the Mallards within one run, but that would be all the runs the Mallards could produce today as they left seven base-runners stranded.

Rochester 4, Thunder Bay 3
It took extra innings for the Honkers and Border Cats to decide the winner of game two their three game series. With runners at first and third in the bottom of the tenth inning Rochester used a rundown to score the winning run 4-3.  Jimmy Waters (Kansas) led the Honkers going 2-for-5 with 2 singles while Chris Elder (Oral Roberts) led in the RBI category blasting an eighth inning two-run home run over the right field wall. Bryan Karraker (Central Arizona) also left the park with a towering home run over the right center wall cutting the Border Cats lead to 1-2. Getting the start for the Honkers was Josh McKeon (Upper Iowa) who went 7.0 innings allowing 3 runs off 6 hits while striking out 7.  Pitching the final 2 innings of the game and getting the win was Ian Kadish (Marshall) who tossed 2 innings of shutout baseball.

Battle Creek 7, Eau Claire 5
The Express out-hit the Bombers 10-7, but the Bombers won the game 7-5.  The Express were hurt by four errors in the field while the Bombers only have one.  Steve McGuiggan (Illinois-Chicago) went 3-for-5 for the Express with two runs scored.  The Bombers were led by Sean Deegan (Penn State) who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.  The Bombers got a nice pitching performance from Joe Battestelli (Eastern Michigan) who threw 5.2 innings of seven hit, four run baseball.  Chris Howard (Tennessee) threw the final 3.1 innings to earn the save. 

Brainerd 1, Mankato 0
Vince Bruno (Cal Berkeley) ended his debut with the Lunkers with a bang as he hit a walk-off single to left field as the Lunkers took the second game of the series 1-0 in ten innings.  While Bruno’s single capped off the game, it was pitching that highlighted the afternoon. Mankato starter, Ryan Demmin (Minnesota State Mankato), went 6.1 innings of scoreless and hitless baseball, before giving way to the bullpen. He was matched by Kyle Teague (Oakland), who went 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball, surrendering three hits–all to Jordan Steranka (Penn State)–striking out nine. Both starters got the no-decision, as each left with a scoreless tie.  The losing pitcher for Mankato was Logan Odom (USC), who pitched two-plus innings before surrendering the game winning single.

Willmar 9, Duluth 1
The Stingers took game one over the Huskies 9-1 at Wade Stadium in Duluth.  Cedric Pomerlee (Alcorn State) threw 5.1 innings giving up one run and earning the win.  The Stingers were led offensively by Willmar native, Jordan Smith (St. Cloud State) who was 2-for-3 with three RBI.  Issac Ballou (Marshall) also had a great day at the plate doing 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI. 
Duluth 5, Willmar 4
The Huskies took game two of the double header 5-4.  The Huskies out-hit the Stingers 11-5 and received a great outing from two Huskie pitchers, Frank De Julio (Daytona State) and Corey Maltz (Weatherford) who combined to throw a complete game five hitter.  The Stingers were again led by Jordan Smith (St. Cloud State) who was 1-for-2 with two walks, one RBI and one run scored. 

Wisconsin Rapids 7, Wisconsin 5
The offense arrived early and just often enough in a 7-5 Rafters victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks Sunday.  Matt Johnson (Cal Baptist) hit the first home run in Rafters history, a two out blast in the sixth inning that turned out to be the difference.  With the home run, Johnson tallied a two hit, three RBI night to lead the Rafters offensively.  The Rafters broke out for five runs over the first two innings to take a 5-0 lead. Johnson and Dan Olinger (Minnesota) both hit sacrifice flies in the second inning, while Ken Gregory (Kean) lashed a two out single to drive home two, capping a four run inning.  Starter Chris Green (Northwest Missouri State) lasted just three innings but allowed just a single run. Steve Godawa (Valparaiso), the winning pitcher on the night, threw two scoreless before four straight hits to start the sixth chased him from the game.

Green Bay 13, La Crosse 4
For the second time in as many nights the crowd at Copeland Park in La Crosse, Wisconsin got to witness a game-changing grand slam.  However, on Sunday night, it was Green Bay’s turn to enjoy the thrill of victory as the Bullfrogs defeated the La Crosse Loggers by a score of 13-4 in front of 2,617 fans.  The Loggers would jump ahead to an early 3-0 lead after the first inning.  The score would remain at 3-0 until the top of the sixth inning as the Bullfrogs drew even with the Loggers at 3-3.  Green Bay would break the game open in the following inning as they put seven runs on the board highlighted by a grand slam by Scott Schebler (Wichita State).  Jeff Donovan (UW- Whitewater) earned the win on the mound for the Bullfrogs. 

St. Cloud 6, Alexandria 1
A five-run 6th inning was all the River Bats needed to take down the Alexandria Beetles in game one of the double-header.  All but one River Bat hitters collected a hit on the day.  They were led by Joey Behnke (St. Cloud State) who was 1-for-2 with two RBI.  Jason Wheeler (Loyola Marymount) earned the win in relief for the River Bats throwing 2.1 innings of one-hit baseball.  Three Beetles players had two-hit days; Patrick Biondi (Michigan), Marcus Semien (Cal-Berkeley), and Will Miller (Furman). 

St. Cloud 3, Alexandria 1
The St. Cloud River Bats took game two of the double-header against Alexandria.  Devon Rodriguez (California Berkeley) had a great day at the plate for the River Bats going 3-for-3 with a run scored.  The River Bats pitching staff gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven.  The Beetles short-stop, Marcus Semien, another Cal-Berkeley player standout went 2-for-3 with one run scored.