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Willmar knocks La Crosse out of first with sweep on competitive Wednesday

First place Willmar picked up a series sweep of La Crosse to knock them out of first place in the South, handing Lakeshore a slim one-game lead. St. Cloud couldn't complete a rally while Thunder Bay won their fourth in a row, a streak that leads the league currently. 

Alexandria 6, St. Cloud 5

A St. Cloud rally in the top of the ninth came up just short as the Rox stranded two runners in scoring position to fall to Alexandria, 6-5. The Blue Anchors snapped a two-game losing streak by ralling from four runs to down to score all six after the sixth inning. Five different players picked up RBIs for Alexandria, with Craig Nennig (Ohio State) going 2-4 with a solo home run and two runs. Sean Terres (North Dakota St) picked up the win in relief while Kevin Walsh (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) escaped the ninth to pick up his first save on the season. 

Lakeshore 6, Battle Creek 3

The Chinooks swept Battle Creek for the second time this season as they jumped ahead 3-0 and didn't look back, downing the Bombers 6-3. Ryan Krill (Michigan State) and Kyle Wood (Purdue) combined for five RBIs as Lakeshore won their third straight to take sole posession of first place as La Crosse fell to Willmar. Luke Lowery (Southern Miss) picked up his second win in relief as he threw two one-run innings while teammate Andrew Elliot (Wright State) threw a perfect 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.

Thunder Bay 10, Duluth 8

Thunder Bay won their Northwoods League leading fourth in a row as they scored four runs apiece in the fifth and sventh to overcome an early 5-0 deficit and beat Duluth, 10-8. They were led by the NWL Co-players of the night, Jordan Serena (Columbia) and Robb Paller (Columbia). They combined to go 6-10 with four runs, six RBIs, three doubles, a triple and a home run in a monster game. Reliever Reid Peavy (Northwestern St) picked up the win while teammate Tyler Lequire (Pfeiffer) picked up his first save on the season.

Waterloo 5, Mankato 4

Waterloo picked up their third straight win and ninth in the last ten games with a 5-4 win over Mankato to pull a game and a half out of first place. After falling behind 4-0 entering the fifth, the Bucks scored five in the next three innings to escape with the come from behind victory. Will Sparks had his second multi-RBI game in as many days as he went 3-4 with a home run, three RBIs and a run to lead the Bucks. Reliever Greg Kuhlman threw two shutout innings with a  pair of strikeouts to pick up the win while teammate J.D Moore picked up his second save on the season.

Rochester 3, Eau Claire 0

Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night Matt Kent (Texas A&M) threw seven shutout innings to lead Rochester to their third straight win, 3-0 over the Express. Kent struck out four while allowing just two hits and a walk to get the win. Teammate John Conquy (Dixie St) walked three in the ninth but worked out of a jam to pick up his second save. The Honkers offense was led by Jeff Campbell (North Dakota), who went 4-4 with a run, a home run and two RBIs.

Willmar 3, La Crosse 2

In the second straight matchup of top teams, Willmar earned a series sweep of La Crosse to drop them into second place in the South with a 3-2 win over the Loggers. Jack Ross (Pepperdine) went 1-3 with a two-run double to lead the Stingers to the win to give them a game and half lead on second palce Waterloo. Matt Snyder (Kentucky) went five innings and gave up two runs but struck out three to pick up the win. Reliever Josh Matheson (Minnesota St-Mankato) picked up his first save on the season with a scoreless ninth.

Madison 13, Wisconsin 3

The Mallards scored three runs apiece in the second and third and tacked on five runs in the seventh to rout Wisconsin, 13-3, and pull thre games out of first. Pete Alonso (Florida) went 4-5 with a double and a run while teammates Robbie Tenerowicz (California) and Trent Higginbothem (North Florida) combined for four hits with six RBIs. Madison reliever Charlie Naso (Illinois) threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win, his second on the season.

Kalamazoo 9, Kenosha 4

Kenosha rallied to come back from an early four run deficit but the Growlers pulled away late for an easy 9-4 win, snapping a four game losing streak. Jared Kujawa (Western Michigan) went 2-4 with three RBIs while teammate Jesse Puscheck (Cansius)  drove in two runs as well on a 2-4 night. Ryan Smoyer (Notre Dame) went 7 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on six hits as he struck out three in the win. 

Green Bay 6, Wisconsin Rapids 5 (12 innings)

Green Bay tied it in the seventh before falling behind in the bottom of the 12th but a two-run double from Ryan Howell (Chabot) gave the Bullfrogs a walkoff win, 6-5, over Wisconsin Rapids. Releiver Ivan Vieitez (Lenoir-Rhyne) picked up the win with two innings of work in extra innings.

Thursday's Schedule (all games at 7:05 unless otherwise noted)

Eau Claire at Lakeshore (6:35)
Waterloo at Duluth (6:35)
Kalamazoo at Wisconsin 
Willmar at Thunder Bay
Rochester at St. Cloud
Alexandria at Mankato
Madison at Green Bay
Wisconsin Rapids at La Crosse
Kenosha at Battle Creek