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Flansburg's two-run shot leads MoonDogs to walk-off victory.

It seems that shifting amongst both divisional standings is a daily habit in the Northwoods League as three teams are tied for third place in the North, only 1 1/2 games outside of first place. In the South, the battle for second place is logjam at the top as five teams are all within a game of each other. The league-leading Kenosha Kingfish extended their record to a superb 18-5, as they won their fifth consecutive game. 

 

Wisconsin 8, Lakeshore 6

The Woodchucks took game one of their home series against the Chinooks, led by an offensive explosion by a pair of batters. Leadoff man Jared Oliva (Arizona) and Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) both hit their third home runs of the year, while combining for four hits and six RBIs. Reliever Eli Kraus (Kent State) picked up his first victory of the season, pitching 2 2/3 innings and struck out one. Chinooks designated hitter Kyle Wood (Purdue) provided an outstanding effort in the loss, going 3-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs, as Lakeshore dives into a tie for 3rd place with Wisconsin Rapids.

Rochester 8, Eau Claire 3

Rochester plated six runs in the 5th inning as they handled the Express, moving into a half game back from first place in the North. A pair of Honkers hit their first home runs on the year as William Paschal (Georgia Gwinnet) and Zach Hoffman (St. Cloud State) contributed five of the eight RBIs. Starter Jayson Yano (Stevens Institute) bounced back to collect his third win, tossing seven innings, surrendering two runs on five hits, while striking out four. Express leadoff man Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) set the table getting on base three times, with two hits and a walk, improving his batting average to an impressive .338 on the year.

Mankato 4, Waterloo 3 (11 Innings)

Late-inning fireworks occurred as the Bucks and MoonDogs battled to a 2-2 tie through nine innings completed. In the 11th inning, the visiting Bucks pulled ahead as they plated a run, but Mankato responded with a walk off two-run home run from 2nd baseman Jack Flansburg (Cypress C.C.) in the bottom half. Flansburg finished the night 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs, as he served up a heroic performance as the MoonDogs pulled to .500 on the year. Despite relinquishing the lead in the 11th inning, Samuel Myers (Central Arizona) earned his second win of the year, as he tossed three innings of relief and struck out one. Bucks shortstop Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) swung a nice bat, going 2-for-4, hitting his third home run of the season, and finished with two RBIs, as Waterloo fell 1 ½ games behind the North Division lead.

Madison 6, Kalamazoo 1

In a rain-soaked Wednesday night, the Mallards moved back into the win column as they took care of the Growlers in Kalamazoo. Madison’s 1st baseman Jed Sprague (Pacific) paced the offense with two hits and two RBIs, as the lineup provided more than enough run support throughout. Local product Westin Wuethrich (Madison College) was efficient in his starting performance, as he shutout the Growlers over five innings, allowing two hits and striking out four, as he improved to 1-1 on the season. Kalamazoo’s designated hitter Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) supplied the only ounce of offense for his team, going 1-for-4 with an RBI, as the Growlers fell to last place in the South at 6-17.

Duluth 7, Green Bay 3

The Huskies took game one of their interleague series against Green Bay, as they look to build upon their divisional lead over the North. Catcher T.J. Martin (Kansas) served up two hits and two RBIs in the winning effort as Duluth continues to retain a slim half-game lead over Rochester for the top spot. Ryan Tapani (St. Olaf) was stellar in his first starting performance, going six innings, surrendering two runs on six hits while striking out three, as he improved his record to 2-0. Bullfrogs’ catcher Desi Ammons (Belmont) was the only member of the lineup to pick up multiple hits as he went 2-for-2 with an RBI, as Green Bay has now lost two straight.

Kenosha 6, Wisconsin Rapids 3

Kenosha continues to absolutely light up the South division standings, winning their fifth straight game, and improving to 18-5 in the first half. Catcher Jason Scholl (Eastern Illinois) hit a solo home run, his third of the year, while right fielder Zach Weigel (Seton Hall) recorded two hits and two RBIs in the leadoff role. Kingfish reliever J.D. Nielsen (Illinois) was terrific in relief, going 1 2/3 innings with a strikeout, giving him two straight wins in his last two appearances. Rafters 1st baseman Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) shined in the loss with two hits and two runs, as Wisconsin Rapids has dropped two straight in addition to falling into 3rd place in the South Division.

La Crosse 14, Battle Creek 7

The Loggers exploded to a 13-2 lead after the 3rd inning as they routed the Bombers at home, taking game one. Every La Crosse starter collected a hit on the night, while four different batters recorded home runs. Loggers 1st baseman Zander Clarke (Newbury Park) was one of the standouts, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Starter Graham Spraker (Quincy) did not log his best effort off the mound, allowing five runs on ten hits through 5 2/3, but received enough run support to earn his second victory of the season. Bombers 3rd baseman Tyler Walsh (Belmont) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, as Battle Creek fell to 9-13 in the first half.

St. Cloud 11, Alexandria 3

St. Cloud piled on the hits and runs on the deflated Blue Anchors, as they moved into a tie for third in the North. Rox left fielder Webb Bobo (S.E. Louisiana) contributed two hits, a walk and hit-by-pitch, while scoring once.  Typically a starter, tonight Reese Gregory (St. Cloud State) tossed five innings of relief, allowing no earned runs and struck out three, as he advanced to 2-1 on the campaign. Alexandria left fielder Josh Merrigan (North Carolina) continued his hit parade, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, giving him six hits in his last three games.

Thunder Bay 5, Willmar 2

The Border Cats reclaimed their home field advantage, as they rebounded from two straight losses, and snapped Willmar’s four-game win streak. Thunder Bay’s starter Johnny York (St. Mary’s) was terrific in his starting debut, tossing seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits, and struck out five, winning his first game of the season. The Northwoods League’s most prolific hitter continued to put on a show as Grant McKown (Florida Tech) went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, while stealing his ninth bag on the year. Stingers leadoff man Dan Motl (Minnesota) gave his best effort in the loss, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

 

Thursday’s Schedule

Rochester @ Eau Claire 6:35 PM

Waterloo @ Mankato 7:05 PM

Battle Creek @ La Crosse 7:05 PM

Madison @ Kalamazoo 7:05 PM

Duluth @ Green Bay 7:05 PM

Kenosha @ Wisconsin Rapids 7:05 PM

Lakeshore @ Wisconsin 7:05 PM

St. Cloud @ Alexandria 7:05 PM

Willmar @ Thunder Bay 7:05 PM