Alexandria 8, Duluth 5 (Game 1)
With two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning, Beetle Ben Magsig (Eastern Michigan) drove in Chris Fritts (Tennessee) and Rick Devereaux (Pittsburgh) with a single to tie the game at 5-5. After two wild pitches by the Huskies Joey Novak (Harvard), the Beetles Dale Ricketts (Tennessee-Wesleyan) scored and they never looked back. Novak entered the game as the Northwoods League ERA leader but is handed the loss. Kevin Vangheluwe (Michigan) earned the win with four strike outs in five innings pitched. Vangheluwe is now tied for the Northwoods League lead in wins with 7. The Huskies Andrew Dixon (Purdue) went 2-for-5 and hit his 1st homerun of the season. This game was the completion of a suspended game from June.
Alexandria 4, Duluth 3 (Game 2)
Chris Fritts (Tennessee) made a game-saving catch (watch the play) in left field to end the game and give the Alexandria Beetles the North Division’s Second Half Title. The doubleheader sweep combined with a Willmar loss gave the Beetles their magic number of 3 all in one night. Will Fulmer (Montevallo) went 3-for-4 and Mike Theofanopolous (California) hit his second home run of the season in the win for the Beetles. Chris Manship (Kansas) was 3-for-3 with a walk and RBI in the loss. Anthony Bazzani (Eastern Kentucky) earned the save in both games of the doubleheader and now has the Northwoods League lead with 11. The 26th win of the second half for the Beetles ties them for the most wins in any half in NWL history. It will be Alexandria’s first playoff appearance since 2003.
Madison 7, Wisconsin 4
Madison scored four runs in the top of the eighth to defeat the Woodchucks in the last home game of the season in Wausau. The Mallards took the lead on a single by Andrew Barna (Davidson) that pushed Justin Parr (Illinois ) and Tyler Jones (Long Island) around third after an error by the left fielder. Dan Tobik (Tennessee-Martin) pitched three strong innings of relief with four strike outs to capture his third win for the Mallards. Carlos Escobar (Nevada-Reno) continued to stay hot for the Woodchucks with two hits on the night. Escobar is batting .330 on the season. Even with the win Madison has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Battle Creek 10, Green Bay 1
Green Bay had been building momentum on their playoff push but Battle Creek cooled them off for a night with a 10-1 dowsing at C.O. Brown Stadium. Even with the loss, Green Bay still has a two game lead in the standings over La Crosse. Bryce Redeker (Miami-Ohio) hit his fourth home run in the past five games for a total of 10 on the season for Battle Creek. Caleb Vincent (Kellogg CC) went 5 2/3 innings and improved his record to 4-0 on the season. Ryan Schilter (Concordia University) went 2-for-4 with a double for Green Bay, whose magic number is 2.
Waterloo 6, La Crosse 4
La Crosse missed a golden opportunity to gain ground in the south standings with a 6-4 home loss to Waterloo on Wednesday in front of a huge crowd of 3,452 at Copeland Park. The Loggers took an early 1-0 lead but the Bucks scored two right back in the top of the 2nd. Jeremy Lucas (Indiana St.) went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, single and scored two runs to help lead Waterloo to victory. Chris Dunn (Viterbo) improved to 3-5 on the season with the win, allowing three runs in five innings. In the loss, Andrew Knapp (California) went 2-for-4 for La Crosse and still leads the Northwoods League with a .399 batting average in 143 at-bats.
Eau Claire 8, Wisconsin Rapids 1
Eight of nine Express starters had at least one hit as the Express out-hit the Rafters 12-4 in an 8-1 victory Wednesday at Witter Field. Ryan Shober (Illinois-Chicago) had two hits including his 4th home run. Josh Scheffert (Nebraska) drove in three in the game. Brandon Hohl (Illinois) had the lone RBI for the Rafters. Brad Goldberg (Ohio State) went seven strong innings to earn his 3rd win.
Thunder Bay 4, Willmar 1
Logan Birr (St. Cloud State) fired eight great innings and shut down his former team in Thunder Bay on Wednesday night. Birr struck out eight and walked one while allowing just three hits and one unearned run. He played for Willmar in 2010. The 2011 version of the Stingers saw their playoff hopes dashed with this loss and the two Alexandria victories on the night. Kyle Mossbarger (Wright State) had a pair of hits including his 1st home run for Thunder Bay. Jason Leblebijian (Bradley) scored the lone run for the Stingers.
St. Cloud 5, Mankato 3 (12 innings)
Bryan Haar (San Diego) hit a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to give St. Cloud a victory over Mankato Wednesday night in a game that featured some late-inning lead changes. St. Cloud grabbed a 3-2 in the 8th after tying the score at 2-2 in the 7th with both runs scoring on wild pitches. However, Mike Rivera (Fresno Pacific) drove in a run with one out in the top of the 9th inning to tie the game for Mankato. Andrew Fagely (Concordia-St. Paul) tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three to get the win. The home run for Haar was his 9th on the season.
Brainerd Lakes Area 8, Rochester 1
The Lunkers pounded three home runs Wendesday en route to an 8-1 win over the Honkers in Rochester. Casey Roche (Pittsburgh) had a big night going 4-for-5 with three RBIs while hitting his 3rd homer of the season. Matt Hillsinger (Radford) was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and hit his first home run. Jon Crist (Youngstown State) had two hits including his first long ball. Honker Davy Wright (TCU) had two hits and scored Rochester’s only run in the game. James Farris (Arizona) earned his 2nd win after going seven strong innings and allowing just five hits and one run.