Strong pitching wraps up the opening week of action

The first week of Northwoods League baseball saw several high-scoring victories, followed by some great defense in the past two days. Madison and Waterloo have stood out early as both teams remain undefeated and leading each of their respected divisions. Opposed to those two teams, Kalamazoo and Mankato collected their first wins of the season tonight as they look to get themselves out of an early hole. 

St. Cloud 2, Thunder Bay 1

The Rox advanced to 4-1, now winning three straight games, as they were backed by another stellar pitching performance Sunday afternoon. Starter Andrew Clemen (South Dakota State) pitched seven innings of shut out baseball, gave up four hits and struck out five, registering his first win of the season. The Rox pitching staff held the Border Cats for 17 straight scoreless innings before closer Brian Glowicki (Minnesota) relinquished a run in the 9th, however he prevailed and picked up his first save of the year. Thunder Bay was carried by Yuji Suzuki’s (Concordia) strong outing as he threw seven innings giving up two runs and struck out three, as the Border Cats dropped their third straight game, falling to 2-3.

Kalamazoo 6, Rochester 3 (Game One, 7 Innings)

Coming off a postponement to Saturday’s contest, the Growlers and Honkers played a double header and Kalamazoo took game one, also picking up their first win of the season. The Growlers found success in the 6th inning, as they entered tied 3-3, but scored three runs, all off wild pitches. Second-year Growler Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) propelled the Kalamazoo offense going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Reliever Aaron Tadian (Kent State) pitched a solid 6th inning, as he collected his first win of the season, while closer Matt Frawley (Purdue) struck out two in the final inning and earned the first save for the Growlers. Honkers Left Fielder Alex Shultz (Nebraska-Omaha) had a strong first game at the plate going 3-for-4 with a run, as Rochester lost their first game in 2015.

Rochester 11 Kalamazoo 2 (Game Two, 7 Innings)

Rochester pulled off the doubleheader split in Kalamazoo as they scored ten runs in the last three innings to take care of the Growlers. Led by a plethora of walks and a horrific defensive performance by Kalamazoo, which committed a league high seven errors, practically giving the Honkers an easy victory. Honkers’ outfielders propelled the victory as Trey Kamachi (Dixie State) was impressive going 4-for-5 with an RBI, and Cole Krzmarzick (Nevada) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Rochester starter C.J. Santoyo (Utah) went the first four innings giving up only two runs and reliever Colby Green (Triton C.C.) went the rest of the way throwing three innings, collecting the save. The Growlers fell to 1-5 on the season, but were led offensively by 3rd Baseman Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) who went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Battle Creek 10, Kenosha 1 (Game One, 7 Innings)

Battle Creek scored all of their runs in the first five innings of play, which served to be more than enough as they blew out the Kingfish in game one of their doubleheader. The Bombers received another strong pitching performance by starter Alex Hermeling (Louisiana-Monroe) who turned in a complete game, followed by only allowing three hits and an earned run, while striking out five, as he won his first game of the season. Battle Creek Designated Hitter Tyler Walsh (Belmont) had a perfect game on at the plate going 4-for-4, scoring three runs and four RBIs. Kingfish Right Fielder Zach Weigel (Seton Hall) had an RBI double in the 7th inning providing Kenosha with their only run of the game as they drop to 3-2.

Battle Creek 3, Kenosha 2 (Game Two, 8 Innings)

The Bombers took both games of the doubleheader as they edged out a narrow victory in “extra innings” against the Kingfish. The seven-inning doubleheader rule was not enough for both teams as it was tied at 2 after the final frame. Bombers 1st

Tyler Walsh (Belmont) knocked in an RBI single, which proved to be the deciding factor in the contest. Reliever Tyler Harris (Miami Ohio) closed the door in the 8th inning as he went 1 2/3 innings on the night, collecting his first win. Kenosha 3rd Baseman Hunter Alexander (St. Johns River State) had another strong night at the plate as he registered a two-run double as Kenosha fell to 3-3 to begin the season.

Madison 11, Wisconsin Rapids 2

The Mallards continued their undefeated streak to begin the year as they crushed Wisconsin Rapids, moving to 5-0. Madison kicked off the game scoring five runs in the first inning, marked by 3rd Baseman Chris Tschida’s (Western Illinois) two-run double. Madison Right Fielder Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s) continues to dominate with the bat as he got on base four times (two hits, two walks) and knocked in two runs. Reliever Josh Pierce (Central Michigan) collected his first victory as he went 1 1/3 innings and struck out a batter. The Rafters were paced on offense again by Jake Sandlin (Georgia College) as he registered his league-leading tenth and eleventh hits.

Wisconsin 9, La Crosse 2

The Chucks jumped out to an 8-0 after the 4th inning and never looked back as they completed the series sweep of South Division member La Crosse. Wisconsin used the long ball pretty efficiently today as they combined to hit five home runs on the night. Woodchucks Max Ponzurick (Virginia Tech) and Ryan Howard (Missouri) hit two bombs each, while L.J. Hatch (Johnson County C.C.) registered his first homer of the season. Reliever Jared Skolnicki (Kent State) picked up his first win, pitching the 4th and 5th innings and struck out four hitters. The Loggers dropped their third straight game, but were led by 3rd Baseman Jacob Boston (Mesa C.C.) who hit a two-run homerun, his first of the season.

Lakeshore 3, Green Bay 1

Lakeshore received a hard-earned series split against the Bullfrogs Sunday night as they scored three runs in the 3rd inning, and closed the door the rest of the way. A pair of SEC freshman paced the Chinooks to victory as Center Fielder Drake Parker (Vanderbilt) smacked a two-run double and Shortstop Greg Deichmann (LSU) went 1-for-3 with an RBI single. Lakeshore starter Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater) was strong tonight going six innings, giving up four hits and one earned run, while striking out an impressive ten batters. The hometown Bullfrogs were led by Left Fielder Caleb Ratzman (Illinois State) who went 1-for-4, and was the only member of the lineup to cross home plate, as Green Bay slips to 2-3 on the season.

Eau Claire 5, Willmar 3

Eau Claire received the series split, as they took care of the visiting Stingers, moving to 2-4. The Express scored runs in the 6th and 7th innings as they broke away from the tie as outfielders Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) and Tyler Jones (Air Force) combined for six hits and 2 RBIs. Express starter Brody Rodning (Minnesota State) shut down the Stingers offense going six innings, giving up two runs and struck out three. Closer Ryan Schlosser (Century C.C.) picked up his first save of the year as he threw three shutout innings and struck out two. Stingers Catcher Kyle Gilbert (Florida Gulf Coast) hit his second home run of the year, in a losing effort.

Waterloo 6, Duluth 3

Staring into a 3-0 hole entering the 7th inning, the Bucks five-game win streak to begin the season was in serious jeopardy. However two runs in the top of the 7th and four runs in the 8th rallied a comeback win for the visiting Bucks as they swept the Huskies. The heroes of the night were infielders Luke Stratman (Lamar C.C.) and Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s), which combined for four hits, four RBIs, and each scored once. Bucks starter Brian Drapeau (Long Island) had another strong outing as he picked up his 2nd win of the year tossing seven innings, allowing three runs, and striking out two. The Huskies were led on offense by 1st Baseman Alex Wojciechowski (Minnesota-Duluth) who knocked in an RBI triple in the 1st inning.

Mankato 9, Alexandria 3

The Moondogs picked up their first win of the season as they travelled to Alexandria and knocked off the Blue Anchors, splitting the weekend series. Mankato scored nine unanswered runs after Alexandria began the contest with a 3-0 lead after two innings of play. Moondogs Catcher Kaden Moore (Indiana State) played a big part of the successful night as he hit his second long ball of the season. Moondog lefty Brett Clark (Friends University) threw five innings, giving up three runs and struck out five as he picked up the much-deserved victory. Alexandria fell to 1-4 on the 2015 campaign, as they were led tonight by Shortstop Dane Hutcheon (Montevallo) who picked up another two hits, and moved his batting average to a commendable .316 to start the season.


Monday’s Schedule

Madison @ Lakeshore (11:35 AM)

Wisconsin Rapids @ Green Bay (6:35 PM)

Eau Claire @ Alexandria (6:35 PM)

Thunder Bay @ Duluth (6:35 PM)

Rochester @ Battle Creek (7:05 PM)

St. Cloud @ Waterloo (7:05 PM)

Willmar @ Mankato (7:05 PM)

Kenosha @ Kalamazoo (7:05 PM)

Wisconsin @ La Crosse (7:05 PM)