Sizzling Saturday: Stretch Run Heats Up

Rochester, Minn (June 29th, 2013)–Temperatures around the United States may be hot, but action in the Northwoods is hotter. With just around a week left until the end of the first half, six teams are serious in their pursuit of just two playoff spots: Waterloo, Willmar, Lakeshore, Madison, La Crosse, and Wisconsin Rapids.

In Wisconsin Rapids, two of these teams met for a key clash. The visiting La Crosse Loggers put up a fight, but they were unable to overcome the challenge as the Rafters grabbed a key 2-1 victory to stay in the thick of the race.

In Mequon, the Lakeshore Chinooks used extra innings to take advantage of losses from Madison and La Crosse and grabbed sole possession of first place in the South Division.

Lakeshore 6, Green Bay 5 (F/10)

Saturday night’s game in Mequon was a wild one. The Chinooks scored five runs in the bottom of the 8th to go up 5-3, surrendered two runs in the top of the 9th to force extra innings, and then won the game with a run in the bottom of the 10th. The Chinooks worked around four errors to get the win.

Wisconsin Rapids 2, La Crosse 1

The Rafters needed a win on Saturday to keep themselves in a spot to make a run at a first-half division title and they got it on Saturday. Brad Stroik (Stevens Point) threw six scoreless innings and helped put his team in a position to win with a walk-off in the bottom of the 9th.

Wisconsin 7, Eau Claire 4

After the Woodchucks led 4-1 heading into the 6th, both teams traded a pair of three-run innings as the Woodchucks went on for the win. Joey Rodriguez (Wake Forest) did the bulk of the work on offense as he drove in a pair of runs and collected two hits out of the two spot.

Battle Creek 4, Madison 1

With a division title directly in their sights, the Mallards faced a tough road trip in Battle Creek. Unfortunately for the Mallards, the Bomber pitching staff completely shut down their offense, yielding no earned runs on the night and just six hits. Hunter Devall (LSU) made the start for the Bombers and pitched well.

Rochester 5, Willmar 0

The Honkers played the role of spoiler on Saturday in their two-hit shutout effort against the Stingers. Tyler Eppler (Sam Houston) threw seven shutout innings and gave up just the two hits while striking out five. The Stingers were in the game late as they faced just a two-run deficit in the 8th before giving up three runs in the 9th and falling to the Honkers.

Alexandria 13, Thunder Bay 6

The Blue Anchors put runs on the board in every inning except for the 6th in Saturday’s win over the Border Cats. Aaron Gretz (Ohio State) was 3/6 with four RBI and three runs scored in the win. His offensive night also included his fourth home run on the season.

Waterloo 14, Mankato 13 (F/11)

While holding onto a slim lead in the North division standings, the Waterloo Bucks found themselves in a tight one again the Mankato MoonDogs. After getting down 5-1 early, the teams traded three-run frames for two full innings before the Bucks put up six in the top of the 7th to force the pressure back onto Mankato. The MoonDogs responded with a run in the 7th and 8th innings, but they were unable to score after the Bucks took a lead in the 11th.

Duluth 8, St. Cloud 7 (F/12)

The season series between Duluth and St. Cloud has been interesting thus far, and it was made more interesting on Saturday when the Huskies won in a 12-inning marathon. The top of the Husky order is what brought. them the win, as the first six hitters in the lineup combined for all 17 hits in just 31 at bats.

Sunday Schedule:

Duluth vs. St. Cloud- 5:05
Green bay vs. Lakeshore- 5:05
Madison vs. Battle Creek- 5:05
Alexandria vs. Thunder Bay- 5:05
Eau Claire vs. Wisconsin- 5:05
La Crosse vs. Wisconsin Rapids- 5:05
Waterloo vs. Mankato- 6:05
Rochester vs. Willmar- 7:05