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Chinooks clinch second half South championship

Lakeshore clinched the second-half title in the Southern Division with a 2-1 win over Wisconsin as they won both halves. Meanwhile, Duluth swept a doubleheader with Eau Claire to pull within a game and a half of first and Kenosha and Green Bay dueled, with the Bullfrogs scratching across late runs to win against the Kingfish bullpen. 

Duluth 3, Eau Claire 2 (Game 1)

The first of two in a doubleheader between these teams saw Duluth scratch across a go-ahead run in the fourth and down Eau Claire, 3-2. A sacrifice fly from Trent Chatterton (UCLA) break a 2-2 tie with one out in the fourth and carry the Huskies to the win. It was enough run support for Austin Christensen (Nebrasa), who went six innings and gave up just a pair of runs for his second win on the season. Steve Villines (Kansas) worked around a pair of hits in the ninth for his sixth save.

Lakeshore 2, Wisconsin 1

Lakeshore picked up a series sweep of Wisconsin to clinch the Southern Division second half championship as they held the Woodchucks hitting in check. The Chinooks pitching was lights out, holding Wisconsin to just three hits while Brant Valach (Eastern Illinois) provided enough run support with a pair of RBIs. Starter James Teague (Arkansas) faced the minimum over four shutout innings while Sterling Koerner (FGCU) added a trio of scoreless innings. Hunter Devall (LSU) escaped a bases-loaded jam win just one out in the top of the ninth for a nail-biting second save of the season. 

Kalamazoo 7, La Crosse 6

In a back-and-forth affair, a RBI fielders choice in the top of the seventh was the difference in a narrow 7-6 Growlers win. Kalamazoo jumped ahead 2-0, but La Crosse had an answer every time, but a three-run rally came up short for the Loggers. La Crosse took the loss despite out-hitting the Growlers, 12-9 in a game that saw the teams combine to leave 24 men on base. Karl Sorensen (St. Cloud St) and Ryan Lidge (Notre Dame) both drove in two runs for Kalamazoo. Ryan Kirby (San Diego) and Aaron Knapp (Cal) homered in the loss.

Waterloo 6, Thunder Bay 3

A three-run fifth helped the Bucks double up Thunder Bay, 6-3. Waterloo overcame three errors and racked up 11 hits- one a double from Connor McClain (Indiana St) on a two-hit, two-RBI night for the junior. The Bucks split the game between starter Nick Veale (Des Moines Area CC) and reliever Aaron Myers (Longwood). Veale went five innings for the win, his fourth on the season, allowing two earned runs. Myers shut out the Border Cats ove rthe next four innings for the save. 

Mankato 4, Willmar 0

Dillon Williams (Shelton St) went 6 2/3 shutout innings and the MoonDogs blanked Willmar, 4-0. Williams and reliever Tanner Rockwell (Arkansas Little Rock) combined to blank the Stingers and Mankato capitalized on four Willmar errors. Leadoff man Tyler Sullivan (Pacific) hit a home run on a two-RBI night, while teammate Craig Lepre (Albany) added two more. 

Green Bay 3, Kenosha 0

Despite seven shutout innings from Rico Garcia (Hawaii Pacific), Kenosha couldn't capitalize on a Wisconsin loss and fell, 3-0. Reliever Coley Thompkins (Campbell) gave up all three runs in just 1 1/3 innings as Daniel Jackson (Long Beach St), Matthew de la Rosa (Lenoir-Rhyne) and Kyle Lewis (Sierra) all drove in runs with singles. Nathan Disch (Jacksonville) also went seven shutout innings, striking out seven while allowing just four hits and issuing a lone walk to pick up the win. 

Madison 6, Alexandria 4

A three-run third from the Mallards erased an early 3-0 Alexandria lead as Madison went on to win, 6-4, behind two RBIs from Trent Higginbothem (North Florida). Higginbothem finished with three hits, including a double, while teammate Michael Handel (Minnesota) drew three walks and scored twice. Starter Sterling Sharp (Eastern Michigan) picked up the win after allowing three runs over five strong innings, but it was a strong performance from the Mallards bullpen down the stretch to secure the win. Devin Over (Connecticut) gave up an unearned run in the ninth as he recorded his first save.

Duluth 8, Eau Claire 1 (Game 2)

Duluth swept the Express to pull into a tie with Mankato for second place in the Northern Division, a 1 1/2 out of the second-half leading Bucks. The Huskies racked up 16 hits in just seven innings and struck for five runs in the fourth inning for a convincing win. All but one member of the Duluth lineup recorded a hit, while Nolan Rogers (Vanderbilt) and Alex Michaels (Cal Poly) both drove in a pair of runs. Starter AJ McElderry (Indiana State) went four innings and allowed just one unearned run while striking out two in just his third start of the summer.

Wisconsin Rapids 12, Battle Creek 5

After being held scoreless through the first two innings, Wisconsin Rapids erupted and scored at least once in the next six innings en route to a 12-5 rout of the Bombers. The Rafters scored four in the third and then closed the night out with three consecutive innings of pushing across a pair of runs. Keelin Rasch (Lousiana Monroe) hit a grand slam on a three-hit, seven-RBI night while teammate Campbell Wear (UC Santa Barbara) added a two-run shot. Domenic Mazza (UC Santa Barbara), collegiate teammates with Wear, went six innings and gave up just two earned runs while striking out six.

Rochester 6, St. Cloud 3 (11 innings)

Reid Roper (Illinois) entered having gone 0-5 the entire game, but he came through at the right time with a three-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the 11th for the Honkers. It was just his sixth of his season and capped off a two-run rally in the seventh to tie it and force extras after the Rox had jumped ahead. Roper led all players with four RBIs, while his brother Ryne Roper (Illinois) worked around a hit and a walk in the 11th for the win as he extended his scoreless innings streak to six as a pitcher.

Thursday's Schedule (all games at 7:05 unless otherwise noted):
Willmar at Eau Claire (6:35)
Wisconsin at Duluth (6:35)
Waterloo at Alexandria (6:35)
Lakeshore at Wisconsi Rapids
Thunder Bay at St. Cloud
Rochester at Mankato
La Crosse at Kalamazoo
Madison at Battle Creek
Kenosha at Green Bay