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No teams remain undefeated to start second half

No more teams remain undefeated to start the second half of the Northwoods League season as Mankato fell to Eau Claire, Kenosha fell to Wisconsin Rapids and Battle Creek downed Madison. Meanwhile, La Crosse downed Wisconsin in a back-and-forth affair that last ten innings while Rochester and Waterloo saw a pitching duel between two starters who both went eight innings, with the Bucks coming out on top. 

Battle Creek 7, Madison 1

A five-run ninth turned a close game into a blowout as Battle Creek rebounded from being swept in a double-header by Madison with a 7-1 victory over the Mallards. Connor Panas (Cansius) hit a home run on a three-RBI night as he scored twice while teammates T.J Hillman (UT Arlington) and Jordan Hand (Shadow Ridge) each drove in a pair of runs. Panas was a three-run home run as a part of the five-run ninth. Zac Ryan (Georgia Tech) went seven strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out three. Alden Cartwright (LSU) extended his scoreless innings streak to five as he picked up his first save of the season for the Bombers. 

St. Cloud 7, Green Bay 1

Despite stranding ten runners on base, St. Cloud rolled to an easy 7-1 win over Green Bay as they scored in all but three innings. Starter Reese Gregory (St. Cloud St) lowered his season ERA to 1.44 as he gave up just one run on four hits over six innings with five strikeouts in the win. Kade Scivicque (LSU) hit a solo home run for the Rox, who snapped a three game losing streak to start the second half of the season. Seth Heck (Mississippi St) added a three-hit night and drove in two runs. 

Wisconsin Rapids 14, Kenosha 5

A seven-run fifth propelled Wisconsin Rapids to a 14-5 victory over Kenosha, snapping a three game skid to start the second half of the season. Both teams racked up 15 hits, but the Rafters drew seven walks and won despite stranding 12 runners on. Kenosha left 11 on and Wisconsin Rapids capitalized and managed to force the Kingfish to use six different pitchers. Three different hitters recorded at least three hits, let by Zack Domingues (Long Beach St) who went 3-5 and drove in three. Michael Hurwitz (Illinois) added a solo home run to support starter NIck Blackburn (Illinois), who went six innings and gave up just two runs with four strikeouts for his second win.

Alexandria 6, Duluth 3

A pair of three-run innings, including a three-run eighth, carried Alexandria to a 6-3 win over Duluth. The Blue Anchors improved to .500 to start the second half of the season behind three RBIs from Rickey Sanchez (Notre Dame). Sanchez hit a three-run home run to give Alexandria a 3-2 lead that the Huskies battled back to tie. However, Kris Goodman (Iowa) added a two-RBI single in the eighth to carry the Blue Anchors to the win. Sean Stutzman (Dallas Baptist) threw three shutout innings in relief to pick up the win.

Eau Claire 9, Mankato 2

Jeremy Bagnall (Montevallo) gave up just one run over six innings and player of the night Brian Mundell (Cal Poly) carried Eau Claire to a 9-2 win over Mankato, the MoonDogs first loss of the second half. Mundell drove in five runs on a 2-4 night, including a bases clearing triple as a part of a four-run first for the Express. Bagnall gave up eight hits but Mankato left 12 runners on and managed just one extra base hit. Five different Express picked up at least two hits as they improved to .500 to start the second half.

Lakeshore 5, Kalamazoo 1

The Chinooks broke open a tied game as they scored four runs over the last three innings to down Kalamazoo, 5-1. The Growlers became the only team to not have picked up a win in the second half of the season as they fell to 0-4 and struggled mightily against Joe Pavlovich (UW-Oshkosh). He allowed just one run on four hits over six innings to lower his season ERA to just 2.19. Five different Chinooks picked up a RBI, while Brant Valach (Eastern Illinois) had a pair of hits. 

Waterloo 2, Rochester 1

Despite turning in what might have been one of the best performances this summer, Rochester's Matt Kent (Texas A&M) took a loss as the Honkers couldn't provide run support in a 2-1 loss to Waterloo. The Bucks seventh win in the last ten games tied them with Willmar for the best overall record in the Northern Division this summer as they managed to scratch across two runs off of Kent and had an excellent performance from their starter, Landon Simpson (Arkansas) as well. Simpson went eight innings and gave up just one earned run on three hits while striking out five to pick up the win. Kent gave up just two runs and struck out an incredible 12 over eight innings and didn't allow a walk but took the defeat. His only big mistake was a pair of solo home runs to Mikal Hall (Charlotte) and David Kerian (Illinois).

Willmar 4, Thunder Bay 3

The Stingers erased a one-run deficit in the seventh and hung on for their second straight win, a 4-3 victory over Thunder Bay. Willmar pulled to .500 to start the second half behind an excellent start from Andrew Towns (Walters St). Towns struck out nine over eight innings and gave up just one earned run on four hits and was backed by a three-hit, three-RBI night from Nick Rivera (Florida Gulf Coast). Wes Helsabeck (Winston Salem St) struck out eight for the Border Cats over five innings in a no-decision. 

La Crosse 10, Wisconsin 7 (10 innings)

In a back-and-forth game, La Crosse came out on top in extras over Wisconsin, 10-7, for the Loggers second straight win. The Loggers held a convincing six-run lead heading into the seventh, but the Woodchucks bats erupted for a seven-run frame to pull ahead. La Crosse bounced back to tie it in the eighth and scored three in the top of the tenth to pick up the win. Austin Rei (Washington) drove in three runs for the Loggers while teammate Ryan Kirby (San Diego) added a two-run home run. Wisconsin was led by Jake Jeffries (Cal State Fullerton), who drove in three runs in the loss.

Sunday's Schedule:

Wisconsin at Kenosha (5:05)
Mankato at Waterloo (6:35)
Willmar at Duluth (6:35)
Green Bay at Lakeshore (6:35)
Alexandria at Eau Claire (6:35)
Rochester at St. Cloud (7:05)
Wisconsin at Kenosha (7:05)
Madison at Kalamazoo (7:05)
Thunder Bay at Wisconsin Rapids (7:05)
Battle Creek at La Crosse (7:05)