NWL Playoffs Begin
Wisconsin 3, Eau Claire 2
The Wisconsin Woodchucks took game one of the South Division playoff series by a score of 3-2 thanks to timely hitting and some clutch relief pitching. The Woodchucks Kevin Pillar (Cal State Dominguez Hills) walked and advanced to third on a Travis Whitmore (Pittsburgh) single in the 1st. Pillar would eventually score on a Pat Terry (Santa Clara) sacrifice fly. The Express would answer back in the 2nd with an Andrew Leonard (Illinois-Chicago) RBI that scored Steve McGuiggan (Illinois-Chicago) to tie the game at 1-1.
Kevin Pillar would score again in the 3rd when Travis Whitmore sacrifice squeezed him home. With the score 2-1 in favor of the Woodchucks, Lucas Herbst (Santa Clara) scored Drew Heithoff (Augustana) on a clutch two out hit to tie the game at two. Rob Lind (Georgia State) scored the game winning run for the ‘Chucks in the 8th as Brian Sharp (Cal Baptist) drove him in.
The Woodchucks relief pitching was clutch as Jerad Eickhoff (Olney Central) earned the win as he threw 2.0 scoreless innings. Jason Marytn (Rio Hondo) earned his 1st save of the year as he threw a scoreless 9th inning. Eau Claire starting pitcher Felix Cardenas (Texas Permian Basin) threw well thru 7.0 innings, but Dietrich Enns (Central Michigan) allowed three hits and one run in 0.2 innings of work.
The Express will face the Woodchucks Wednesday night at Athletic Park in Wausau. Ian Campbell (Corpus Christi) who is 7-1 will start for the Express and will face Jason Marytn (Rio Hondo) 1-0.
Rochester 8, St. Cloud 2
Rochester registered ten hits and scored seven runs off NWL Pitcher of the Year Jason Wheeler (Loyola Marymount). Wheeler only lasted 5.0 innings and took his 2nd loss of the season. Leadoff hitter Chris Elder (Oral Roberts) drove in four runs on the night, but his three-run homer in the 6th broke the game open.
The Honkers Mike Strong (Oklahoma State) earned the win after shutting down a potent St. Cloud offense. Strong threw 6.0 innings of four-hit baseball while striking out nine. The lefty from Stillwater, MN allowed one run off of a double from league MVP Steve Nyisztor (Rutgers) in the 4th. Nyisztor had two doubles on the night and drove in two runs to complete the River Bats scoring.
The Honkers eight and nine hitters, Anthony Hutting (Cal State Fullerton) and Andrew Mendenhall (Oregon), combined to go 5-for-6 with four runs scored. Hutting was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Mendenhall was a perfect 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
Rochester travels to St. Cloud Wednesday night to play St. Cloud at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. The Honkers David Hurlbut (Cal State Fullerton) takes on the River Bats Jason Van Skike (Indiana State).