Late-game heroics storyline Wednesday’s games

Wednesday's action was filled with stressful and nail-biting finishers as six games were decided by two runs or less. Madison took care of Green Bay at home, capturing the league's best record of 7-1. After 13 long innings, the Rafters walked-off against the Chinooks, while Duluth and St. Cloud struck for big innings late, as they stole victories on the road. 

Thunder Bay 4, Eau Claire 3

The Border Cats scored all of their runs in the first two innings, and held off the Express, advancing to 4-4 on the year. Thunder Bay’s bullpen was terrific as they only allowed two Eau Claire baserunners in the final three innings. Border Cats starter Anthony Morris (St. Thomas Aquinas) pitched well enough to earn the victory going six innings, giving up three runs on just two hits, and struck out four. Designated Hitter Grant McKown (Florida Tech) went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored as he continues his torrent pace to begin the year, donning a .406 batting average. Express Shortstop Irving Lopez (Arizona Western C.C.) was the star of the Eau Claire lineup as he registered a double and hit his first home run of the season as the Express have fallen to 3-6 in the North Division.

Madison 4, Green Bay 2

A four-run 3rd inning was all the offense the Mallards needed Wednesday night as they powered past Green Bay and continued to maintain their South Division lead. Led behind Catcher Jean Ramirez’s (Illinois State) three run home run, Mallards starter Matt Bower (Washington State) received just enough run support as he tossed five innings, gave up just three hits and fanned ten Bullfrogs, as he picked up his first victory. Typically an outfielder, Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s) played the role of closer tonight for Madison, as he pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief and received his first save. Bullfrogs 1st Baseman Tyler McDowell (Washington State) was the only Green Bay batter with a multi-hit game as he picked up two hits in a losing effort as Green Bay fell to 3-5.

Battle Creek 10, Kenosha 5

Battle Creek took game one of the series between Kenosha as both teams are now tied for 2nd place in the South. A pair of Bombers led the offense tonight as Shortstop Lin Li (Taiwan) and Center Fielder Trek Stemp (Washington State) combined for seven of Battle Creek’s fourteen hits, and were responsible for driving in six RBIs. Starter Cameron Ming (Arizona) did not have his best night on the mound giving up four runs through six innings, but received more than enough run support to receive his first victory on the season. Kingfish 2nd Baseman Nick Sergakis (Ohio State) was terrific in the loss, clubbing two home runs and is now tied for the league with a total of four on the year.

Kalamazoo 11, Wisconsin 9

The Growlers scored seven runs in the last two innings as they led an improbable comeback on the road to win their second game of the season. A pair of returning players carried the Growlers, as Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) and Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh) both hit home runs in the contest and combined for seven RBIs. Reliever Nathan Coakley (Saint Francis) earned the victory as he threw a clean 8th inning, and closer Matt Frawley (Purdue) shut the door in the 9th as he collected his second save on the year. The Chucks were led by their lightning hot Right Fielder Max Ponzurick (Virginia Tech) as he went 2-for-3, hitting his league-leading 4th home run, and sporting a league best .500 batting average, as Wisconsin drops to 3-3.   

Willmar 6, La Crosse 1

The Stingers travelled east to La Crosse for interleague action, and came away with their fourth victory. Willmar’s 1,2 hitters set the table for the Stingers’ offense as outfielders Dan Motl (Minnesota) and Sean Beesley (Illinois State) collected three hits a piece and combined for three runs. Starter Will Lydon went the distance in a very impressive performance, as he threw 104 pitches in the complete game, five-hit victory. Loggers infielder Mason McCoy (Illinois Central) was the only La Crosse batter with some sort of success, going 2-for-4, and the only one to score tonight, as the Loggers move in 8th place in the South Division.

Duluth 7, Waterloo 6

The Huskies handed Waterloo their second loss of the season as they rallied to score six runs in the 7th and 8th and steal a win on the road. A trio of Duluth batters carried the team tonight as Dominic Miroglio (San Francisco), Colton Waltner (San Diego), and Alex Greene (West Florida) combined for six of the eight Huskies’ hits, and four RBIs. Closer Austin Carpenter (North Alabama) pitched two of the three outs in the 9th as he collected his second save. Bucks Shortstop Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) provided a spark of offense hitting his first home run of the season as the Bucks have now dropped two straight games after starting the season 7-0, but remain atop of the North.

St. Cloud 8, Alexandria 6

A five run 8th inning led to St. Cloud to their sixth win as some late heroics proved to be the difference. Rox 2nd Baseman Luke Doyle (Yavapai) was fantastic in his Northwoods League debut, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and scored three times. Closer Trevor Charpie (Saddleback C.C.) made things interesting, giving up a run in the 9th, but settled down and registered his second save in 2015. Alexandria 1st Baseman Ricky Sanchez (Notre Dame) also starred in his Blue Anchors debut, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Alexandria will try to comeback and take game two of the series as they try and break out of their 2-6 start to the season.

Mankato 10, Rochester 5

Mankato scored five runs in the bottom of the 7th, which proved to be the deciding inning, as they held off Rochester, moving to 3-5. Both Moondogs middle infielders drove Mankato to victory as 2nd baseman Jack Flansburg (Cypress C.C.) and Shortstop Sulliam Rios-Reyes (Kirkwood C.C.) each recorded three hits, and combined for six runs. Reliever Samuel Myers (Central Arizona) was dominant in his 2 2/3 innings of work, giving up just four hits and striking out four, picking up his first win. Myers continues to impress coming out of the bullpen, as he has given up just one hit up, while not surrendering a single run. A pair of Honkers registered home runs on the night as Joe DeRoche-Duffin (UConn) hit his second bomb of the year and Catcher Dakota Larson (Rochester C.C.) smashed a three-run blast, his first of the season.

Wisconsin Rapids 7, Lakeshore 6 (13 Innings)

In the longest game of the season in the Northwoods League, was filled with back and forth action as the Rafters celebrated in walk-off fashion after 13 innings. The Chinooks battled in the 9th inning, scoring off Zarley Zalewski’s (Kent State) two-run single, sending the game to extras. In the bottom of the 13th, Mitchell McGeein (Eastern Michigan) became the hero, as his RBI single scored Zack Domingues (Long Beach State), giving Wisconsin Rapids their fourth win. McGeein had a fantastic game overall for the Rafters as he collected three hits, one being his first home run, and finished with four RBIs. Leadoff man Drake Parker (Vanderbilt) was strong for the Chinooks going 3-for-7, as Lakeshore drops their second consecutive game.


Thursday’s Schedule

Mankato (3-5) @ Rochester (5-2) 5:05 PM/7:05 PM (Doubleheader)

Lakeshore (4-5) @ Wisconsin Rapids (4-4) 6:35 PM

Green Bay (3-5) @ Madison (7-1) 6:35 PM

Eau Claire (3-6) @ Thunder Bay (4-4) 7:05 PM

Willmar (4-3) @ La Cross (3-6) 7:05 PM

Kalamazoo (2-7) @ Wisconsin (3-4) 7:05 PM

Kenosha (5-4) @ Battle Creek (5-4) 7:05 PM

St. Cloud (6-2) @ Alexandria (2-6) 7:05 PM

Duluth (4-4) @ Waterloo (7-2) 7:05 PM