Tight Games and Dramatic Endings Wednesday

Four games were decided by a run and a wild pitch and a balk accounted for wins on Wednesday in Northwoods League play.

Kenosha 4, Lakeshore 0

Making just his fourth start of the season, E.J. Trapino threw seven shut out innings Wednesday afternoon to lead the Kenosha Kingfish over the Lakeshore Chinooks 4-0 in game one of a doubleheader. Trapino was the star of the game for the Kingfish (30-14).  The southpaw stifled the Chinooks all day, striking out seven batters and only allowing one hit.  The lone hit came in the bottom of the second by Mark Kolozsvary.  Trapino now improves to 2-0 on the year with a 2.32 ERA. J.D. Nielsen pitched the final one third of an inning to earn the save.  

Wisconsin Rapids 4, Wisconsin 1

Seven solid innings from Devin Skapura on the mound could not carry the Wisconsin Woodchucks past the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Wednesday night, as the Rafters won 4-1 at Athletic Park. Devin Skapura kept the Chucks close until he exited after seven frames. He gave up just two hits and two runs while striking out seven. Beau Jordan got the scoring started with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. The Woodchucks answered with a home run in the sixth. Keenan Eaton hit a solo shot, his first homer of the season, to cut the deficit to 2-1. Wisconsin Rapids added two insurance runs in the ninth, and the Chucks trailed by three entering their final at-bat. Connor Heady was the only man to reach in the ninth, drawing a base on balls, leaving the Chucks with just three hits on the night.

St. Cloud 2, Alexandria 1

The St. Cloud Rox defeated the Alexandria Blue Anchors 2-1 after another pitcher’s duel. Zach Pop was the starting pitcher for the Rox and went 6.2 innings. He struck out five batters, scattered five hits and only allowed one run. Brian Glowicki would take over for Pop and went 1.1 innings, striking out one batter. Trevor Charpie would then come on to close out the game for his seventh save of the season. Jake Matthys went six strong innings for the Blue Anchors. He allowed two runs on six hits.

Waterloo 12, Duluth 0

The Duluth Huskies were blanked 12-0 by the Waterloo Bucks on Wednesday night. The Huskies fell behind early in the top of the 1st when Mikal Hill led off with a walk and Zach McKinstry advanced to first on an error by the second baseman putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Ryan Nagle drove them all in with a 3-run homerun giving the Bucks a quick lead. The Bucks added four more runs in the 3rd when Zach Soria got a two-out single followed by Jonah Bride who also singled and Matthew Stemper walked to fill the bases. Chris Kelly followed with another single scoring both Soria and Bride. Two more singles in the inning led to two more runs for the Bucks making the score 7-0 through 3 innings of play. The Bucks continued the scoring spree by tacking on 5 runs in the 8th which was highlighted by an RBI triple from Zach McKinstry, an unearned run, an RBI single by Matthew Stemper and an RBI sacrifice fly from Chris Kelly. The Bucks were led by designated hitter Ryan Nagle who went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI and center fielder Chris Kelly who went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI. Left fielder Colton Waltner and right fielder Jean Figueroa both collected 2 hits. Carson McPherson was the winning pitcher for the Bucks while Hunter Jones collected the loss for the Huskies.

Eau Claire 8, Rochester 1

The Rochester Honkers dropped their second straight game to the Eau Claire Express Wednesday night 8-1. Jayson Yano was charged with just his second loss on the season, moving him to 5-2 on the year.  Austin Shulfer earned the win for Eau Claire and Dalton Roach picked up the save. Shulfer and Yano had a veritable pitchers duel going for the first five innings, as neither side could gain the advantage. Rochester broke through first on a solo homerun from Joe DeRoche-Duffin in the top of the sixth. It was Duffin’s fourth homer in four games and his eighth of the year, which is second in the NWL and first in the North Division this season. The Express would comeback in the bottom of the sixth with three runs of their own, including the game tier on a wild pitch, to take a 3-1 lead. Rochester failed to put a runner in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings, and that proved fatal, as Eau Claire would score five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take an 8-1 lead. The Honkers would get only a single from Matt Fiedler and could not mount a comeback to cut into the seven-run deficit. 

Kenosha 8, Lakeshore 7

Kenosha rallies for three in the 9th to take the doubleheader sweep of Lakeshore. Lakeshore held a 4-0 lead until the 6th inning when the Kingfish scored five runs to go on top 5-4. Lakeshore then added two in the 7th and one in the 8th to take a 7-5 lead before Kenosha's 9th inning fireworks. The Kingfish were led by Grayson Byrd who went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and Jeremy Vasquez with two hits in four at bats with two runs scored.J.D. Nielsen got the win for Kenosha after pitching two scoreless innings with four strikouts.

Madison 5, Willmar 2

The Madison Mallards put the finishing touches on a two-game sweep of the Willmar Stingers with a 5-2 victory over their inter-league opponent Wednesday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. J.J. Gould delivered his second home run of the summer to ignite Madison’s lineup, while Dalton D’Spain tallied his team-best fifth win in conceding just one run across five strong innings of work. After a scoreless first frame, the Mallards captured the contest’s initial lead through Collin Theroux’s solo home run in the road half of the second. Sean Beesly responded with a run-producing single to score Eddie Estrada in the bottom half of the first, however, which knotted the score at 1-1. But Madison was also quick to respond, witnessing Gould drive home himself and Logan Regnier via his second home run of the 2015 season in the top of the third. D’Spain pitched brilliantly in his seventh start, striking out four batters and allowing just four hits across his five innings of work for the Mallards, which eventually set him up to capture the winning decision. Logan Browning came on in relief of D’Spain from the bullpen and proceeded to whiff three hitters sans a hit allowed across three frames. Madison then plated two more runners in the seventh courtesy of RBI singles from Ro Coleman and Jean Ramirez. Down 5-1 with Mike Kaelin on the mound, the Stingers manufactured a run in their last frame thanks to an RBI single from Dan Motl to score Beesly. After allowing the earned run, however, Kaelin settled down, retiring Reagan Fowler with a groundout to shortstop Tony Butler to seal Madison’s 5-2 victory. Though he did not record a strikeout in his relief appearance, Kaelin increased his season save total to six with his late effort on Wednesday night.

La Crosse 11, Kalamazoo 6

The Loggers swept the home series against the Growlers with a 11-6 win in Copeland Park. Brandon Lawson allowed only a solo home run in the 1st inning by Growler first baseman Jordan Stading. Ryan Kirby got the Loggers on the board with a 2-run home run of his own in the 2nd inning. This started a 4-inning scoring streak for the Lumberman. Jordan Zimmerman walked and Brock Lundquist singled to start the 3rd. Keith Skinner took the opportunity to drive two more runs in with a single to right. La Crosse added two more in the 4th on a Jordan Zimmerman sacrifice fly to center and an Alex Merritt fielder’s choice. But the Loggers were not done just yet. Ryan Kirby walked and scored from first on a Zander Clarke double. Mason McCoy then hit a blast to center for a 2-run home run. Just like that, La Crosse was up 9-1. Brandon Lawson finished the night going 6.1 innings. He gave up one run on only two hits and struck out a team-high 11 batters. Kalamazoo added one run off of Jordan Pearce, who came in relief of Lawson in the 7th. Kalamazoo put four more up on the board off Pearce and Ronnie Gideon, but Matt Naylor cleaned up the 9th to finish the game.

Green Bay 10, Battle Creek 9

Green Bay broke a 9-9 tie in the top of the 9th inning when Bombers reliever Evan Dunn balked home the go-ahead run. Chad Dullnig was the winning pitcher for the Bullfrogs after going 2.1 scorless innings allowing only 1 hit. Michael Sanderson led the Bombers hitters going 2 for 3 with three runs scored.The Bullfrogs were paced by Robb Paller. Paller went 3 for 5 at the plate with 3 RBI.

Mankato 7, Thunder Bay 6

Mankato held off a late rally from the Border Cats and walked off in the bottom of the 9th with a win. After the Border Cats tied the game in the top of the 9th the MoonDogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th. The winning run was scored by Mikel Mucha off of a wild pitch by Thunder Bay reliever Greg Weissert. Kyle Weston and Mikel Mucha each had three hits for the MoonDogs. Jared James went 4 for 5 for the Border Cats and is hitting .358 for the season.

Thursday's Games

La Crosse at Lakeshore 4:05 and 6:35

Eau Claire at Mankato – 7:05

Wisconsin at Thunder Bay – 7:05

Kalamazoo at Green Bay – 7:05

Kenosha at Madison – 7:05

Wisconsin Rapids at Battle Creek – 7:05

Duluth at St. Cloud – 7:05

Rochester at Willmar – 7:05

Alexandria at Waterloo – 7:05