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Offense rules the night throughout the league

Thursday night was filled with hot bats, long innings, and pitching coaches losing sleep as the league was filled with several high-scoring affairs. Waterloo provided the second consecutive night of walk-off heroics and Madison continues to roll as they are the only South Division team who remains unbeaten. 

Madison 4, Wisconsin 3

The Mallards moved to 3-0 on the season as they took care of the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Madison never trailed in the game, as they remained tied, or maintained a one-run lead throughout. Mallards shortstop Chris Tschida (Western Illinois) led the Madison offense tonight registering two hits and knocking in two runs. Madison reliever Tyler Frohwirth (Minnesota State) picked up the win as he gave up an earned run in his one inning of work during the 7th inning, but the offense backed him up scoring the go ahead run in the bottom of the inning. Chucks Center Fielder Daytona Bryden (UW-Whitewater) went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI as they fell to 0-2 to begin the season.

Battle Creek 5, Kalamazoo 2

The Bombers took game one of the rivalry between the Growlers Thursday night, as they scored runs in each of the first three innings, earning their first win of the season. Battle Creek 1st Baseman Matt Simmons (Gardner-Webb) hit a two-run home run, pulling the Bombers ahead early. Following Simmons impressive night was the first Taiwanese player to play in the Northwoods League, 2nd Baseman Lin Li went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Battle Creek starter Edgar Sanchez (Cedar Valley College) threw six strong innings, giving up two runs (one earned) and striking out two. Growlers Shortstop Charles Leblanc (Pittsburgh) and Designated Hitter Ben Spieldenner (Saint Joseph’s) registered two hits, as Kalamazoo remains winless in 2015.

Kenosha 9, Lakeshore 0

Kenosha collected their second consecutive win, with a shutout of the defending champ Lakeshore Chinooks. The Kingfish put on a remarkable display of team hitting, as every player in the lineup registered at least one base hit. Catcher Jake Whiting (Montevallo) and Right Fielder Nick Sergakis (Ohio State) clubbed their first home runs of the year, while Left Fielder Eric Filia (UCLA) recorded three hits. Kenosha starter Andrew Zapata (UConn) eased into the win column going 5 2/3 innings and striking out seven, earning him Pitcher of the Night. Chinooks 1st Baseman Doug Kraeger (Richmond) and Left Fielder Jake Romano (Miami Ohio) had two hits a piece in the losing effort.

Rochester 6, Alexandria 2

The Honkers had no problem moving to 2-0 on the season, as they disposed of the Blue Anchors, scoring three runs in 2nd and 7th innings. Catcher Dakota Larson (Rochester Community & Tech) was the star of the night going 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs, while Right Fielder Joe DeRoche-Duffin (UConn) hit a solo home run for his first of the 2015 campaign. Honkers starter Alex Evans (Barton County) threw five innings, allowing a run on three hits, striking out three. Blue Anchors 3rd Baseman Tanner Buenting (Iowa Central C.C.) got on base four times, two base hits and two walks as Alexandria continues to search for their first win of the season.

Eau Claire 4, Duluth 1

Late game heroics defined the outcome between Eau Claire and Duluth Thursday night as the hometown Express scored three runs in the 8th inning, earning their first win of the season. A wild pitch led to the Express taking the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, followed by Left Fielder Adam Listi (Dallas Baptist) smacking a two-run single, putting the game out of reach. Eau Claire starter Griffin Jax (Air Force) went seven full innings surrendering only a run, while striking out five Huskies, but received a no decision. Duluth 1st Baseman Alex Wojciechowski was strong again tonight with two hits, as the Huskies fell to 1-1 in the North Division.

Waterloo 4, Mankato 3

For the second consecutive night, the North Division experienced a walk-off game winner as the Waterloo Bucks spoiled their fans with a memorable home opening win. The Bucks came into the bottom of the 9th down 3-2, but pinch hitter Adam McGinnis (Western Illinois) made it 3-3 with an RBI single, followed by lead off man Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) being the hero, ending the contest with his RBI base hit. Bucks reliever Sean Trimble (Long Beach State) dominated in four innings of relief, not allowing a single base runner, striking out four, and collecting the win. The Moondogs were led by Catcher Kaden Moore (Indiana State) who went 2-for-4, with a double, home run and 2 RBIs.

La Crosse 10, Wisconsin Rapids 5

The Rafters jumped out to an early 4-2 lead after two innings of play, but the Loggers scored eight runs in the last three innings to propel them to victory. The top of the lineup proved to be vital for the Loggers as first and second hitters Mason McCoy (Illinois Central) and Jordan Zimmerman (Mesa C.C.) combined for five hits, six runs, and two RBIs. Big righty Liam Carter (Missouri) collected his first win of the year going two innings of relief, allowing no hits and striking out two. Rafters Zack Domingues (Long Beach State), Jake Sandlin (Georgia College), and Mitch McGeein (Eastern Michigan) each had two hits and an RBI. 

Willmar 19, Thunder Bay 6

Willmar had no plans for a close game Thursday night as they completely blew out the Border Cats. Combining for 19 hits, no Willmar starter went hitless, and three players hit home runs, including 1st Baseman Lucas Tancas (Irvine Valley) who hit a grand slam and finished with six RBIs, winning Player of the Night. Willmar starter Will Lydon (Pacific) had more than enough run support, needing only five innings surrendering two hits and punching out four Border Cats. Falling for the first time of the year, Thunder Bay was led by 1st Baseman Mikael Mogues (Seton Hall) who went 3-for-5 with an RBI.

St. Cloud 14, Green Bay 11

Joannes Stadium was the place to be for offensive fireworks, as both team’s pitching staffs were in shambles by the end of this interleague matchup. The Rox used a seven-run 3rd inning to take the slight early lead 8-7, but Green Bay battled back to pull ahead 11-9 going into the final inning. St. Cloud went on to explode for five more runs in the top of the 9th, as they outdueled the host Bullfrogs for their second win on the year. Every Rox batter finished the game with at least one hit, but Catcher Austin Athmann (Minnesota) was the king of the lineup as he went 4-for-6 with 3 RBI. St. Cloud reliever Marc-Andre Habeck (Georgia State) grinded out a long relief victory going six innings, giving up three runs and struck out six. Bullfrogs Right Fielder Paul Jacobson (South Dakota State) and Left Fielder Tyler McDowell (Washington State) both were 3-for-5 on the night with an RBI, as Green Bay fell to 1-2.

Friday’s Schedule

St. Cloud @ Green Bay (6:35 PM)

Duluth @ Eau Claire (7:05 PM)

Mankato @ Waterloo (7:05 PM)

Battle Creek @ Kalamazoo (7:05 PM)

Wisconsin Rapids @ La Crosse (7:05 PM)

Lakeshore @ Kenosha (7:05 PM)

Madison @ Wisconsin (7:05 PM)

Thunder Bay @ Willmar (7:05 PM)

Alexandria @ Rochester (7:05 PM)