MoonDogs take over first in North Division

A Mankato win, paired with a Waterloo loss, gave the MoonDogs a half game lead in the North Division for the second playoff spot. Mankato downed Eau Claire, 8-5, for their sixth win in a row. Meanwhile, Wisconsin and Kenosha both won so the Woodchucks enter the final day of Northwoods League action with a half game lead for the second South Division playoff spot. 

La Crosse 3, Lakeshore 2 

La Crosse jumped ahead 3-0 and didn't look back, handing the South Division leading Chinooks a shocking third straight loss. Lakeshore, coming off being swept by Wisconsin Rapids, struggled against the Logger pitching duo of Mark Ecker (Texas A&M) and Steven Piette (Augsburg). Ecker went six strong innings, allowing just two runs in his first start out of the bullpen while Piette went the next three innings and struck out four while not allowing a run. Three differnt La Crosse hitters picked up a RBI. 

Willmar 4, Waterloo 2

Andrew Towns (Walters St) turned in a quality start and the Stingers knocked Waterloo out of the top spot in the North Division. The Bucks loss, paired with a Mankato win, dropped Waterloo a 1/2 game out of first. Towns gave up just one earned run over six innings while striking out five and not issuing a walk, and teammate Will Lydon (Pacific) went three no-hit innings for the save, his first of the season. Nick Rivera and Brian Pruett- college teammates at Florida Gulf Coast- both drove in two runs apiece for Willmar.

Kenosha 10, Battle Creek 4

Despite being out-hit 12-9, Kenosha racked up ten runs and kept pace with Wisconsin. The Kingfish still sit a half game out of the second playoff spot in the South Division entering the final day of the season. Three different Kenosha players drove in a pair of runs, including a pair from the league leader in RBIs- outfielder Pat Porter (Ohio State), who has 62 on the summer. Starter Trevor Haas (Valparaiso) worked in and out of trouble as he gave up eight hits but just one run over seven innings as he struck out seven. 

Madison 5, Kalamazoo 1

Kalamazoo jumped ahead 1-0 in the second, but it was all Madison from that point on as they struck for two in the third and went on to win, 5-1. Connor Marabell (Jacksonville) paced the Mallards offense, as he went 3-5 with a double and a home run and picked up three RBIs. It was Marabell's impressive fifth three-hit perforamnce in his last six games. Madison starter Nathan Hoffman (Madison Col) went five innings and gave up just one run while striking out five, and teammate Andrew Buckley (California) struck out six over three no-hit innings in relief.

Wisconsin 4, Thunder Bay 3

A three-run second propelled the Woodchucks to a narrow 4-3 win over the Border Cats, despite being out-hit 9-7. The Woodchucks overcame three errors of their own to stay a half game up on second place Kenosha for the second playoff spot in the South Division. Zach Arnold (Kentucky) went 2-4 and drove in a pair of runs to back starter Andy Ravel (Kent St.), who went six strong innings. Ravel struck out four and gave up just two earned runs, while teammate Patrick Kenney (Purdue) went a scoreless ninth for his second save.

Mankato 8, Eau Claire 5

Eau Claire racked up 14 hits, but Mankato used a three-run first and took over first place in the North Division. The MoonDogs scored two runs apiece in the seventh and eighth and pulled up by a half game for the second half North title that means a playoff spot. Peter Maris (UC Santa Barabara) and Levi Scott (UT Arlington) each drove in two runs apiece, as Maris has seven RBIs in his last three games. Cord Cockrell (Southern Miss) went six strong innings, and teammate Garrett Ring (Middle Tennessee St) went three innings for the save. It was Mankato's sixth win in a row.

Rochester 14, Alexandria 2

Rochester downed the Blue Anchors convincingly, racking up 15 runs on 13 hits while capitalizing on three errors from Alexandria in a 14-2 rout. Sterter Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State) went seven innings and allowed just two runs while striking out ten and was backed with more then enough run support. The Honkers scored three in the third, four in the sevenh and five in the ninth. Rochester managed just two extra base hits and the offense was carried by Jeff Campbell (North Dakota). Campbell went 4-5 with a double and three RBIs. 

Duluth 5, St. Cloud 4

The red-hot Huskies won their second in a row and eight of their last 10 as they pulled within a game of first place Mankato, downing the Rox 5-4. Boo Vazquez (Pitt) hit a solo home run for the Rox, but Austin Christensen and Austin Darby- teammates at Nebraska- both drove in two runs for Duluth. The Huskies broke open a one-run game with a two-runeighth, and fought off a rally from St. Cloud in the ninth. Chris Kelly (Gustavus Adolphus Col) went 6 2/3 in just his fifth appearance of the summer, and Steve Villines (Kansas) picked up his third straight save and eighth on the season.

Wisconsin Rapids 10, Green Bay 1

Connor McClain (Central Arkansas) went six strong innings and all but one member of the Rafters lineup drove in a run in a 10-1 rout of the Bullfrogs. McClain gave up just one run on six hits while striking out six and was backed by plenty of offense. The Wisconsin Rapids bullpen gave up a single hit over the next three innings to win their fourth in a row and hand Green Bay a third straight loss. 

Sunday's Schedule (last day of regular season, all games at 5:05 unless otherwise noted):
Rochester at Alexandria (1:05)
St. Cloud at Duluth (1:05)
Mankato at Eau Claire
Wisconsin Rapids at Green Bay
Madison at Kalamazoo
Battle Creek at Kenosha
Lakeshore at La Crosse
Wisconsin at Thunder Bay
Waterloo at Willmar (7:05)