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Rain-soaked Saturday leads to strong pitching outings

The first weekend games in the league went underway tonight as rain again played a factor in the postponement of a handful of games. Games between Rochester and Kalamazoo, as well as Battle Creek at Kenosha were called due to the heavy rainfall, resulting in double-headers scheduled for Sunday. The second grand slam of the year was hit by Woodchucks 3rd baseman Ramsey Romano and St. Cloud’s Reese Gregory had the most impressive pitching performance in this early 2015 season.

 

Alexandria 6, Mankato 2

The Blue Anchors picked up their first win on the year as they took care of the Moondogs at home. Alexandria was paced on offense by 2nd baseman Steve Sada (Miami Ohio) who had two hits and an RBI and leadoff hitter Dane Hutcheon (Montevallo) knocking in a two-run single in the 6th inning. The Blue Anchor defense was strong tonight as well as starter Drew Hasler (Valparaiso) pitched seven full innings, only giving up two hits, a run and struck out one, as he picked up the win. Closer Blake Stockert (North Dakota State) was strong in the final frames as he shut down the Moondogs for 1 1/3 innings, registering his first save. Mankato was led by 3rd Baseman Kyle Weston (James Madison) who had two hits and an RBI.

Madison 3, Wisconsin Rafters 2

Coming off a rainout Friday night, the Mallards continued their hot streak to start off the year as they edged out the Rafters. In the bottom of the 7th, with Center Fielder Cameron Frost (Washington State) on 3rd base, the Rafters reliever threw a wild pitch, allowing Frost to score, making the difference in the ballgame. Typical starting outfielder Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s) came into the game as another role, as he took the mound in the 8th inning, pitching a scoreless frame, and earned the win. The Mallards turned to closer Vince Arobio (Pacific) in the 9th inning and he completely shut the door striking out two batters as he picked up his first save. Rafters Center Fielder Jake Sandlin (Georgia College) continues his rapid start to the season going 3-for-4, moving his league-leading average to .500.

Willmar 5, Eau Claire 1

The Stingers scored all of their runs in the last three innings as they took game one against their divisional opponent Express. Willmar 3rd Baseman Justin Thaxton began the scoring as he launched his second home run of the season in the 7th inning, as they took the lead and never relinquished. Stinger reliever Jake Sale (Illinois State) picked up the win as he delivered a solid 1 1/3 innings, giving up one run. The Express fell to 1-4 on the season, but were led by a strong pitching performance by starter Austin Schufler (UW-Milwaukee) who pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowed three runs, six hits, while striking out eight batters.

St. Cloud 2, Thunder Bay 0

The Rox moved to 3-1 on the year as they received a masterful outing from pitcher Reese Gregory (St. Cloud State), completely shutting out the Border Cat lineup. Gregory went eight full innings, allowing just two hits, and struck out a league-high eleven batters, receiving a well deserved victory. Closer Trevor Charpie (Saddleback C.C.) game in the 9th and pitched an empty frame as he earned his first save of the season. The Rox offense backed Gregory’s great performance with Joe Tietjen (UNC Asheville) going 2-for-4 with an RBI. The Border Cats moved to 2-2 in the North Division; 3rd Baseman Kyle Comer (Minnesota-Duluth) and Right Fielder Joe Gellenbeck (Xavier) were the only batters to register a hit tonight.

Green Bay 12, Lakeshore 7

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first four innings, as they moved back to .500 on the campaign. The Green Bay offense was paced by 3rd Baseman Billy Mullins (West Valley C.C.) who had three hits and 2 RBIs, while 1st Baseman Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) had another successful day at the plate going 1-for-3 with 3 RBIs. Bullfrog starter Ryan Radue (UConn) only needed five innings, giving up only two runs and struck out four as he picked up the victory. Chinooks 2nd Baseman Rich Rodriguez (Cincinnati) picked up two hits, an RBI and scored twice as Lakeshore has now dropped three straight games.

Waterloo 7, Duluth 4

The Bucks remained hot as they start off the season 5-0 as they disposed of the Duluth Huskies on the road Saturday night. Waterloo was led offensively by Shortstop Mikel Hill (Winston-Salem State) and Catcher Matthew Stemper (Minnesota), who combined for five of the Bucks’ nine hits. Preston Church (Western Illinois) collected his first victory as he threw five innings of shut out baseball and struck out three, while reliever Brent Jurceka (Evansville) went the rest of the way earning a rare four-inning save. The Huskies bright spot was Shortstop Matt McLaughlin (Kansas) who picked up three hits.

Wisconsin 14, La Crosse 4

The Woodchucks received their first win of the season with a blow out of the Loggers in Wausau. Chucks 3rd Baseman Ramsey Romano (Michigan) starred in the home opener as he hit a grand slam in the 3rd inning and finished 2-for-3 on the night. Starter Matt Smith (Georgetown) threw six strong innings, surrendering five hits and sat down seven Logger batters. La Crosse fell to 2-3 on the season and 2nd Baseman Jordan Zimmerman (Mesa C.C.) carried the team with two hits and two runs and collected an RBI.

 

Sunday’s Schedule

Thunder Bay @ St. Cloud (1:05 PM)

Rochester @ Kalamazoo (3:05 PM, 5:05 PM) (Doubleheader)

Battle Creek @ Kenosha Kingfish (3:05 PM, 5:05 PM) (Doubleheader)

La Crosse @ Wisconsin (5:05 PM)

Green Bay @ Lakeshore (5:05 PM)

Madison @ Wisconsin Rapids (5:05 PM)

Willmar @ Eau Claire (5:05 PM)

Waterloo @ Duluth (5:05 PM)

Mankato @ Alexandria (5:05 PM)