Walk off game-winners and high-octane offense rule Friday night.
Offensive fireworks headlined the start of the July 4th weekend, as several Northwoods League contests fell into high-scoring affairs. Kalamazoo walked off against Lakeshore in game two of their doubleheader due to Marquise Gill's game-winner, while Madison stole a victory from Wisconsin, as newcomer Ro Coleman served up the deciding base knock in extra-innings.
Lakeshore 5, Kalamazoo 1 (Game One, 7 Innings)
The Chinooks scored all of their runs in the 4th inning, as they defeated the Growlers in game one of their Friday doubleheader, earning their first win of the second half. Starter Kevin Long (Lehigh) tossed a complete game, going all seven innings, allowing a run on two hits, striking out five as he collected his first win of the season. Chinooks 2nd baseman Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) paced the offense with a two-run single, as Lakeshore took advantage of a crucial Kalamazoo error, which opened up the gates for a huge 4th inning. Growlers’ right fielder Kory Brown (Bowling Green) went 1-for-2 with a walk as Kalamazoo fell to 0-3 to begin the second half.
Kalamazoo 1, Lakeshore 0 (Game One, 9 Innings)
Kalamazoo limited the Chinooks offense to just one hit throughout the entire contest, as the nightcap of their doubleheader crept into extra innings, with Marquise Gill (Eastern Michigan) beat out a walk off infield single, giving the Growlers their first victory. Shane Bryant (Purdue) was sensational off the mound, tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing just one base knock and struck out seven, but it was reliever Derek Schneider (Western Michigan) pitching a lights out 8th and 9th inning, striking out five of the six batters he faced, earning his first win of the season. Gill finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk and the game’s lone RBI, while Jordan Stading (Houston) went 1-for-3 with a walk. Lakeshore’s shortstop Anthony Massicci (Canisius) recorded his team’s only hit of the night, as the Chinooks fell to 1-3 in the South.
Madison 3, Wisconsin 2 (12 Innings)
The Mallards gave up two runs in the 9th inning to the Chucks, forcing extra innings, but came back in the 12th inning to walk off against Wisconsin, handing them their first loss in the new half. Ro Coleman (Vanderbilt) was tonight’s hero as his RBI single, scored home pinch runner Logan Browning (Florida), giving Madison the victory in the series opener. Mallards reliever Hector Bueno (Arizona State) collected his third win, as he pitched a scoreless 12th, striking out two and earning the victory as result of the game-winner. Chucks’ catcher Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, as he has recorded five RBIs in his last three games.
St. Cloud 2, Thunder Bay 1
After being blanked through eight innings of play, the Rox scored two runs in the top of the 9th, stealing a road victory in Thunder Bay. Brett Pope (Western Carolina) carried the comeback effort, hitting a two-run double, putting his team ahead for the eventual victory, as St. Cloud won their third straight ballgame. Rox closer Trevor Charpie (Saddleback C.C.) registered his second victory, throwing two the final two shutout innings, as he owns a dominant 0.85 ERA. Border Cats 3rd baseman Carter McEachern (Trinity) extended his hit streak to seven games, with an RBI single in the 1st inning.
Willmar 9, Eau Claire 0
The Stingers continue to stay hot, winning their fifth consecutive game, as they shutout the Express, to remain undefeated to start the second half. Starter Kiko Garcia (Pepperdine) turned in a stellar performance, tossing eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out a season-best eight, picking up his first win. Willmar duo Tyler Leffler (Bradley) and Kyle Gilbert (Florida Gulf Coast) each recorded home runs, as they combined for three hits, three runs, and four RBIs. The Express as a team only totaled three hits on the night, and Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly) recorded two of them, as Eau Claire has begun 0-3, losing eight of their last ten games.
Duluth 12, Alexandria 5
Duluth exploded for ten runs in the final three innings, as they disposed of Alexandria in their second half home opener. Elijah Dilday (Nebraska) smashed his third home run, finishing with a trio of RBIs and two hits, while catcher Dominic Miroglio (San Francisco) added a pair of hits and RBIs to the winning effort. Huskies’ reliever Toby Anderson (Minnesota) came out of the bullpen to record his third victory, striking out a pair of batters in his one inning of work. Blue Anchors designated hitter Matt Duce (Dallas Baptist) enjoyed a solid night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs as Alexandria fell to 2-1.
Rochester 5, Mankato 0
The Honkers maintained their undefeated start to the new half of the season, shutting out the visiting MoonDogs, holding them to just two hits on the night. Rochester’s starter Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) bounced back from two straight losses, throwing a six-inning gem, allowing no runs, just two hits and punched out four, improving to 1-2 on the year. Mark Contreras (UC-Riverside) and Joe DeRoche-Duffin (UConn) both registered solo home runs on the night, while 1st baseman Dempsey Grover (UC-Santa Barbara) provided three hits, pacing the Honkers lineup. MoonDogs’ center fielder Brinn Bell (St. Ambrose) went 1-for-3 with a walk, as Mankato remains in search of their first win of the second half, falling to 0-3.
Waterloo 6, Battle Creek 4
Rebounding from their recent struggles, the Bucks grinded out an interleague win over the visiting Bombers. A pair of Waterloo batters led the offensive charge as Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) served up a three-hit night, while Adam McGinnis (Western Illinois) went a perfect 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBIs. Starter Carson McPherson (Murray State) tossed the first five innings, surrendering two earned runs, striking out three as he picked up his third win, while Doug Hayes (Illinois) went the rest of the way, earning a rare four-inning save, allowing no runs and struck out three. Bombers 2nd baseman Lin Li (Taiwan) went 2-for-4 on the night, as Battle Creek remains winless in the second half, winning just one of their last ten contests.
Green Bay 8, Wisconsin Rapids 6
Green Bay opened up the game with seven runs in the 1st inning, and held off a late Rafters push, to take game one of the series opener. Seven different Bullfrogs collected RBIs on the night, while catcher Desi Ammons (Belmont) led the way with a pair of hits and runs, as Green Bay remains on a tear, winning nine of their last ten games. Starter Ryan Radue (UConn) was helped with an excessive amount of run support, needing just five innings of work, giving up three runs and struck out four as he’s become victorious in his last three starts. Rafters’ right fielder Jake Sandlin (Georgia College) provided a solid night at the dish, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run and scored twice, while Wisconsin Rapids remains on a nasty slide of losing five-straight games.
Kenosha 10, La Crosse 6
The hottest team in the South continues to be Kenosha as they took their road opener in La Crosse, winning their fifth consecutive game. Kingfish leadoff man Zach Weigel (Seton Hall) was terrific tonight, earning Player of the Night honors, going 2-for-5 with his first home run of the year, finishing with three RBIs and two runs scored. Reliever Mario Samuel (UW-Parkside) was sensational in his Kenosha debut, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing no hits or walks, and struck out three. Loggers’ outfielder Ryan Kirby (San Diego) recorded his second bomb of the year, totaling three RBIs and two runs scored, as La Crosse fell to 1-2 in their division.
Alexandria @ Duluth 1:05 PM
Green Bay @ Wisconsin Rapids 3:05 PM
Kenosha @ La Crosse 5:05 PM
Battle Creek @ Waterloo 5:05 PM
Lakeshore @ Kalamazoo 5:05/7:35 PM (Doubleheader)
Willmar @ Eau Claire 6:05 PM
St. Cloud @ Thunder Bay 6:05 PM
Madison @ Wisconsin 7:05 PM