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Chinooks streak hits six, Express take over first place

St. Cloud took one of two in a double-header against Mankato, and it knocked the MoonDogs a half game out of first place. The new leaders? Eau Claire, who downed Alexandria. Meanwhile, Lakeshore's streak hit hit six as they lead the entire league in second-half wins. Willmar and La Crosse both rallied, with the Loggers scoring five runs in the top of the ninth to overcome a four-run deficit and win.

Mankato 9, St. Cloud 2 (Game 1)

18 hits and a six-run fifth was plenty of offense for Mankato as they easily downed St. Cloud, 9-2. The MoonDogs only led 3-2 entering the bottom of the fifth before picking up six runs on seven hits- including a pair of doubles and a triple. Tyler Sullivan (Pacific) picked up three hits out of the leadoff spot and drove in two while teammate Pete Maris (UC Santa Barbara) went 2-4 with a triple and three RBIs. Mankato releiever Garrett Ring (Middle Tennessee St) threw four shutout innings in relief, allowing just one hit, to pick up the save while starter Blake Battenfield (Oklahoma State) went five innings to earn the win. 

St. Cloud 3, Mankato 2 (Game 2)

The Rox bounced back in the second game of the double-header, breaking a 2-2 tie behind a RBI single from Harrison Wenson (Michigan) to down the MoonDogs, 3-2. The loss dropped Mankato a half game out of first as Wenson drove in three runs, including the clutch RBI single. Dalton Sawyer (Minnesota) shut down the MoonDogs in the ninth for his third save on the season.

Eau Claire 5, Alexandria 1 (7 innings)

The Express picked up 11 hits in just seven innings and overcame an early 1-0 deficit with five runs over the final two frames to pick up a 5-1 win over the Blue Anchors. It was Eau Claire's fifth win in a row as they moved into a tie with Mankato for first place in the Northern Division. NWL Player of the Night Mike Barajas (Lewis) drove in four runs with three hits, including a two-run double and another two-run single. Connor Rusch gave up just one run on four hits over five innings to pick up the win, while Taylor Duree (New Mexico) threw two shutout innings in relief to pick up the save. 

Wisconsin 5, Thunder Bay 4

NWL Pitcher of the Night Brian Howard (TCU) pitched six strong innings and the Woodchucks downed Thunder Bay, 5-4. Howard allowed just two runs (only one of which was earned) while striking out nine and holding the Border Cats to just two hits. Wisconsin trailed 2-1 early, but a three-run sixth put them up for good. The offense picked up 13 hits, two from Connor Beck (TCU) who also drove in a pair of runs. Reliever Max Ising (Creighton) gave up two runs but still escaped with the save.

Lakeshore 11, Battle Creek 5

The Chinooks win streak hit six as they overcame an early 5-0 deficit and scored 11 runs between the four and seventh innings to down Battle Creek, 11-5. Lakeshore improved to 6-1 to start the second half, the best record of any team in the league. Jake Noll (FGCU) led the Chinooks comeback once again as he hit a two-run triple and scored twice on a three-RBI day. Reliever Garrett Brummett (Wichita State) threw the final five innings to pick up the win, allowing just three hits while striking out six.

Wisconsin Rapids 6, Madison 2

A pair of two run innings late lifted Wisconsin Rapids to a 6-2 win over Madison, the Rafters third win in a row. After starting the second half winless, Wisconsin Rapids now sit at .500 at 3-3 as they used three different multi-RBI games and a strong start from Domenic Mazza (UC Santa Barabara) to down the Mallards. Mazza struck out seven and didn't allow an earned run over seven innings while giving up just two hits, his second dominant performance in a row. Clark Egan (Arkansas) went a perfect 4-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored.

Green Bay 9, Kalamazoo 3

Three multi-run innings were more then enough for Green Bay as they handed the Growlers a second straight loss, 9-3. Johnny Bekakis (Long Beach State) and Dean Long (Emporia State) both drove in three runs as the Bullfrogs won their first in a row. Long hit a home run and Green Bay starter Nathan Disch (Jacksonville) went six innings and gave up just one run on three hits while striking out four to pick up the win. 

Willmar 6, Waterloo 3

Willmar fell behind the Bucks twice but came back each time, using a three-run seventh to down Waterloo, 6-3. In a matchup that could happen in the Northern Division playoffs, Stinger first basemen Regan Fowler (Creighton) drove in three runs on a 2-4 day. Fowler broke a 3-3 tie and drove two runs in with a single down the right field line and teammate Garrett Anderson (FGCU) gave up just three hits over three shutout innings in relief to pick up the win. 

La Crosse 10, Kenosha 9

A five-run ninth turned a convincing 9-4 Kenosha lead into a defeat as the Loggers rallied for a 10-9 win. Kingfish starter Rico Garcia (Hawaii Pacific) struggled early, as he gave up four earned runs in just four innings, but his offense picked him up heading into the late innings. Kenosha had four two-run innings, including three in a row in the middle innings. However, La Crosse fought back behind the amazing day from Ryne Kirby (San Diego). Kirby went 3-5 and came a single short of the cycle- he hit a home run, a triple and a double on a five-RBI day to boost the Loggers. Breckin Williams (Missouri) picked up his 11th save.

Duluth 5, Rochester 4 (14 innings)

Michael Tinsley (Kansas) hit a RBI double in the top of the 14th to lead the Huskies to a 5-4 win over Rochester in 14 innings. The Honkers had originally rallied to force extras as they erased a late two-run deficit and tied it in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn't get any offense over the next five frames. Chase Hoag (Glendale CC) got the win in relief for Duluth.

Wednesday's Schedule:

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