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Honkers and Rox move into second place tie with victories.

The fight to earn a North Division playoff bid moves on, as Rochester and St. Cloud emerge victorious in their series openers. La Crosse took care of Kenosha, handing the Kingfish a surprising five-straight loss. In the South, Lakeshore took down Green Bay, resulting in a second place tie with Madison as the first half comes to an end. 

 

Battle Creek 5, Wisconsin 2

The Bombers opened up their two-game home series against the Chucks as they handed Wisconsin their fifth straight loss. Battle Creek broke out to a 5-0 lead after three innings, highlighted by Niko Pacheco’s (Cal State Fullerton) two-run single in the 1st inning and Ryan Budnick’s (Santa Clara) two-run knock in the 3rd. Starter Layne Bruner (Washington State) enjoyed a successful night off the mound, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing an earned run on three hits and struck out six, picking up his first win. Woodchucks’ catcher Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) contributed a hit and an RBI in the loss, as Wisconsin owns a 9-19 record in the first half.

Willmar 4, Alexandria 3

Willmar bounced back into the win column as they cooled down the Blue Anchors, winning a close one at home. Stingers 1st baseman Lucas Tancas (Irvine Valley) went 1-for-2 with a two-run homerun, while walking twice as Willmar continues to hold off the rest of the North, staying on top of the standings. Will Lydon (Pacific) continues to show he’s one of the premier arms in the Northwoods League, picking up his league-leading fifth win, tossing seven innings and striking out eight. Blue Anchors shortstop Dane Hutcheon (Montevallo) went 1-for-3 with two RBIs as Alexandria dropped their 20th contest.

Wisconsin Rapids 3, Madison 1

Riding a seven game win streak, the streaking Mallards were shut down by the Rafters as Wisconsin Rapids picked up a surprising road win at Warner Park. Rapids starter Brian Russell (Staten Island) was brilliant tonight, going seven strong, allowing a run on four hits and striking out four in a no decision, while Brian Bass (Faulkner) finished the last two innings in relief, striking out two and winning his first game of the year. Infielder Zack Domingues (Long Beach State) charged the offense, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored; as they picked up their 13th win in 2015. Madison’s leadoff man Logan Regnier (Central Michigan) provided the only form of offense, going 1-for-4 with an RBI, while the Mallards are now tied for 2nd place with Lakeshore in the South Division.  

St. Cloud 5, Duluth 4

The Rox moved into a tie of second place in the North as their bullpen held the Huskies scoreless over the last three innings and earned the victory. St. Cloud ace Reese Gregory (St. Cloud State) was not the sharpest he’s been all season, however still won his third game, going 5 2/3 innings and struck out five, while closer Trevor Charpie (Saddleback C.C.) completely shut the door, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings while collecting his league-best sixth save. Duluth’s catcher Dominic Miroglio (San Francisco) provided a great effort at the plate going 1-for-2, slugging his first home run and picking up three RBIs, as the Huskies have fallen a half game out behind St. Cloud and Rochester for a first half playoff spot.

Rochester 8, Kalamazoo 3

Rochester responded to an early 3-0 deficit, scoring eight unanswered runs, and moved into a second place tie with St. Cloud, defeating the visiting Growlers. Honkers’ duo Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) and Slade Heggen (Oregon) combined for four hits and five RBIs, pacing the Rochester lineup to victory. Starter Greg Jakusik (Stevens Institute) bounced back to collect his second victory, chucking six innings, surrendering two runs on three hits, while striking out a trio of batters. Growlers right fielder Jon Soteropulos (California) went 1-for-4 with an RBI, as Kalamazoo now owns the worst record in the first half at 7-22.

Eau Claire 11, Waterloo 3

The Express handed Waterloo a devastating road loss, as they blew out the Bucks in convincing fashion, racking up a season-high thirteen hits. A trio of Eau Claire batters carried the team to victory as Joe Gillette (Oregon State), Travon Benton (New Mexico J.C.), and Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) totaled an astounding six hits and ten RBIs. Starter Michael Gomez (Cal Poly) threw six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and struck out four, as he improved to 2-0 on the year. Bucks outfielder Weston Hatten (Washington State) powered a two-run home run, finishing with two hits on the night, as Waterloo slides back to 5th place in the North.

La Crosse 9, Kenosha 4

La Crosse handed the South-leading Kingfish their fifth-straight loss, shocking Kenosha at home with an impressive display of offense. Loggers Jordan Pearce (Nevada) recorded his first home run of the year, rounding out the night with a pair of hits and RBIs. Starter Kyle Nelson (UC-Santa Barbara) registered his first win in his opening starter, throwing 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and punching out five. Kingfish 1st baseman Zach Ratliff (Ohio State) hit his third home run of the year, as Kenosha still remains in first place amongst the South by two games, despite their current five-game skid.

Thunder Bay 9, Mankato 6

The Border Cats broke out of their losing streak, taking game one of their road series against Mankato. Led by leadoff man Jared James (Long Beach State) going 3-for-4 with a walk and a pair of RBIs, Thunder Bay registered an impressive twelve hits off MoonDogs pitching. Cole Stapler (Nicholls State) held the Mankato lineup in check, going five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out a pair as he moved to 1-1 on the year. A pair of MoonDogs recorded home runs as Craig Nennig (Ohio State) and Kyle Weston (James Madison) each hit bombs in the losing effort as Mankato fell back to .500 in the first half at 14-14.

Lakeshore 10, Green Bay 5

Lakeshore jumped out to a 9-0 lead after four innings, as they took the first game of a critical road series in Green Bay. Chinooks Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) dazzled with four hits and two RBIs, while Lucas Raley (Lake Erie) continues to dominate the month of June, hitting his fifth home run of the season and collecting three RBIs. Marshall Kasowski (Houston) picked up his third straight victory, tossing five scoreless innings and striking out nine, giving him a spectacular twenty in his last 9 1/3 innings of work. Bullfrogs Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) went 2-for-3, knocking in his league-best 27th RBI, as he has knocked in a run in four straight games.

 

Wednesday's Schedule

Waterloo @ Eau Claire 6:35 PM

Madison @ Wisconsin Rapids 7:05 PM

Duluth @ St. Cloud 7:05 PM

Lakeshore @ Green Bay 7:05 PM

Kalamazoo @ Rochester 7:05 PM

Wisconsin @ Battle Creek 7:05 PM

La Crosse @ Kenosha 7:05 PM

Thunder Bay @ Mankato 7:05 PM

Willmar @ Alexandria 7:05 PM