Kenosha sweeps Lakeshore, clinches first half crown.
In the final stages of the first half, the Kingfish swept their Tuesday doubleheader in Lakeshore, clinching a South Division title in just their second year as a Northwoods League affiliate. Green Bay took both of their games in Wausau, winning their eighth consecutive game, while the Willmar pulled off a five-run 9th inning, stealing the series opener in Duluth.
Kenosha 6, Lakeshore 1 (Game One)
The Kingfish scored runs in each of the first three innings, taking game one of their day-night doubleheader in Lakeshore, and ultimately clinching a playoff spot in the South Division. Catcher Jason Scholl (Eastern Illinois) hit a solo home run, tying a league-best with six on the season, finishing with two hits, while Zach Ratcliff (Ohio State) went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Kingfish starter P.J. Schuster Jr. (SIU-Edwardsville) picked up his third victory, going six innings, allowing a run on five hits and struck out a trio of batters. Chinooks outfielder Lucas Raley (Lake Erie) recorded his 28th RBI, while contributing two hits in the loss, as Lakeshore fell to 17-15 to finish the first half.
Kenosha 2, Lakeshore 1 (Game Two)
Solidifying their South Division playoff spot, Kenosha held off the Chinooks to sweep their Tuesday doubleheader. Kingfish ace Rico Garcia (Hawaii Pacific) was outstanding in the nightcap, allowing just two hits and a run through seven innings, while fanning four batters, and earning his first win of the season. Ryan Orr threw the last two innings scoreless, picking up his third save, and lowering his ERA to an incredible 0.71 on the year. Leadoff man Zach Weigel (Seton Hall) went 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored as he contributed just enough offense to lead his team to victory. Lakeshore’s Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) went 1-for-3 with an RBI, supplying the only form of offense in the game two loss.
Green Bay 4, Wisconsin 0 (Game One)
Green Bay blanked the Woodchucks on the road, winning their 21st game in the first half. Nathan Disch (Jacksonville) was sensational off the mound, throwing seven shutout innings, giving up just one hit, striking out a season-high eight, becoming victorious in his second straight start. Bullfrogs 3rd baseman Matthew De La Rosa (Lenoir-Rhyne) added a hit and RBI, as Green Bay took contributions from everyone in the lineup. Chucks right fielder Jared Oliva (Arizona) supplied the lone hit on the day for Wisconsin, as they dropped to 12-22, rounding out the first half of the season.
Green Bay 6, Wisconsin 5 (Game Two)
The Bullfrogs held Wisconsin scoreless through the final three innings of the ballgame, sweeping the Chucks on the road. Robb Paller (Columbia) charged the Green Bay lineup with three hits, two runs, and an RBI, while Ty Blankmeyer (St. John’s) provided a pair of hits and runs in the winning effort. Reliever Luke Lind (North Dakota State) was called in earlier than anyone could have expected, throwing 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, striking out seven, as he moved to 1-0 on the year. Chucks infielder Ty Black (Ohio) registered his first home run of the year, going 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Rochester 8, Waterloo 4 (Game One)
Rochester broke out to a 6-1 lead after three innings and held off the Bucks to hold a one game lead over St. Cloud for a North Division playoff berth. Honkers’ designated hitter Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) had a terrific day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three runs, while slugging his first homer of the year. Jordan Gross (Tulane) collected a win in back-to-back starts, throwing six innings, surrendering just a run on three hits, striking out a batter, as he improved to 2-1. Bucks’ 2nd baseman Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) provided another multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI, after starting the season on a seven-game win streak, Waterloo fell a game below .500 to finish the first half.
Waterloo 10, Rochester 8 (Game Two)
Waterloo jumped out to a 10-0 lead after two innings of play, and held off a late-inning rally from Rochester, as they bounced back to split the doubleheader. Bucks’ leadoff man Luke Stratman served up three hits, while shortstop Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Starter Brian Drapeau (Long Island) threw six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, and struck out ten, adding to his league-best mark of 46 on the year. Rochester’s catcher Sam Hall (Dixie State) turned in a great nightcap at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Willmar 5, Duluth 4
The first half North champion Stingers pulled off an improbable comeback in the 9th inning, scoring all five runs and taking the series opener against Duluth. Willmar’s 2nd baseman Justin Thaxton (Pacific) provided an enormous three-run home run, guiding the come-from-behind victory, finishing the contest with two hits and three RBIs. Closer Brady Anderson (Florida Gulf Coast) caused some trouble in the final frame allowing two hits, but closed the door, and registered his league-leading eighth save of the season. Duluth starter Kevin Folman (North Dakota State) was sensational in the loss, throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings, giving up just four hits, and striking out a pair, but his gem ended in a no-decision due to his bullpen faltering in the last inning.
Thunder Bay 1, Mankato 0
Thunder Bay scored the lone run in the bottom of the 8th inning, as they held on to pick up a narrow victory over the MoonDogs. Border Cats’ starter Jeremy Charles cruised through seven innings, allowing just a single hit and struck out six batters, while reliever Anthony Morris (St. Thomas Aquinas) pitched the final two innings, shutting out Mankato, and collected his second victory. Leadoff man Jared James (Long Beach State) contributed the only offense in the entire game, with an RBI single in the 8th, extending his hit-streak to five games. MoonDogs catcher Kevin Hall (North Alabama) was one of only two Mankato batters to record a hit, going 1-for-3 in the loss, falling to 18-18 to complete the first half.
Alexandria 12, St. Cloud 9
The Blue Anchors continue to spoil the fun for several teams throughout the North Division, as their offense exploded to their 13th victory of the season. Alexandria’s catcher Anthony Mrosla (Des Moines C.C.) went 2-for-5 with a season-best four RBIs, as every batter in the Blue Anchors lineup recorded at least one hit on the night. Starter Eric White (Dallas Baptist) received his first victory, going five innings, allowing three runs (two earned), six hits, and struck out three. Rox right fielder Lee Miller (Davidson) did all he could at the dish, going a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs, hitting his first home run on the year, as St. Cloud seemingly dropped out of playoff contention for the first half of the year.
Mankato @ Thunder Bay 1:35 PM
Wisconsin @ Lakeshore 6:35 PM
Battle Creek @ Rochester 7:05 PM
Kenosha @ Wisconsin Rapids 7:05 PM
Kalamazoo @ Madison 7:05 PM
Green Bay @ La Crosse 7:05 PM
Duluth @ Alexandria 7:05 PM
Waterloo @ St. Cloud 7:05 PM
Eau Claire @ Willmar 7:05 PM