Madison and Mankato both walk off with unbelievable late-inning comebacks.
Sunday's contests were filled with implausible comebacks, as Madison and Mankato each had to score multiple runs in the final frame of their games, and were up to the task. Mankato scored three runs in the 9th to walk off against Alexandria, while Madison scored three runs in the final inning to force extra innings, eventually hitting a game-winning home run in the 10th to shock Battle Creek.
St. Cloud 6, Rochester 4
The North-leading Rox scored three runs in the 7th inning, and cooled off Rochester’s lineup to take their road series, becoming the first team in the North with double-digit wins in the second half. Rox 1st baseman Connor Crane (McNeese State) propelled his team to a win, going 2-for-3 with a three-run home run that put his team ahead for good in the 7th inning. Brett DeGagne (North Dakota) entered in the 4th inning, tossing three innings of relief and picking up his third victory, allowing a run on three hits. Closer Trevor Charpie (Saddleback C.C.) was lights out receiving the save, throwing the final three innings scoreless, and registering his eighth save of the year. Honkers’ designated hitter Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) hit his second blast of the year, while going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, but Rochester remains in a tie for third place at 7-5.
Eau Claire 14, Waterloo 4
Eau Claire racked up a season-high twenty hits on the night as they routed the Bucks in the series finale, en route to the split. Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly) headlined the offense with four hits and two RBIs, while Daulton Varsho (UW-Milwaukee) and Teddy Cillis (Hofstra) each recorded three hits and three RBIs on the night. Starter Michael Gomez (Cal Poly) was assisted with a plethora of runs, cruising to his third victory as he went six strong innings, allowing a run on four hits, while striking out a half-dozen. Waterloo’s leadoff man Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in the losing effort as his team fell to .500 in the second half at 6-6.
Madison 8, Battle Creek 7 (10 Innings)
In a wild back-and-forth contest, the Bombers hit a grand slam with 2 outs in the 9th to take a 7-4 lead, which was then followed by a three-run bottom half, which ultimately ended by J.J. Gould’s (Jacksonville) walk off home run. The Mallards’ offense was paced by Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) who went 2-for-4, hitting his fourth home run and finishing with two RBIs, while catcher Bryce Carter (Stanford) was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. Reliever Mike Kaelin (Buffalo) picked up his second win, in result of the game-winner in the final frame. Battle Creek’s right fielder Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) served up an improbable grand slam home run with two outs in the 9th inning to pull his team ahead before ultimately falling in the end as the Bombers fell into last place in the South Division.
Green Bay 7, Kenosha 1
After exploding for five runs in the 7th inning, the Bullfrogs broke the game wide open, halving the series in Kenosha, cutting the Kingfish lead to 1 ½ games in the South. Green Bay ace Garrett Harrison (St. Cloud State) continued his dominance off the mound, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up a run on four hits, striking out four as he now has become victorious in each of his last four starts. Matthew De La Rosa provided a spark in the 7th, hitting a two-run blast, while finishing the game with three RBIs. Kingfish shortstop Brody Westmoreland (San Diego State) was a perfect 2-for-2, scoring the only run of the game for his team as Kenosha remains on top of the South with a 10-3 record.
Lakeshore 11, La Crosse 9
Lakeshore scored an incredible three runs in the final inning, as they stole a series sweep from the Loggers on the road. Anthony Massicci (Canisius) was terrific in the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two walks, while Lucas Raley (Lake Erie) recorded his league-leading eleventh home run, giving him six in the month. Lakeshore’s closer Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) closed the door in the 9th, throwing a solid final frame, as he picked up his third save on the year. Loggers’ Mason McCoy (Illinois Central) continues to prove himself as one of the best players in the league, going 2-for-4 with a solo home run and scoring twice, owning a .383 batting average and 79 hits in his 2015 season.
Wisconsin Rapids 7, Kalamazoo 4
The Rafters grinded out a series split in Kalamazoo, improving to 6-5 in the second half. Rapids’ used a duo of Ernie Clement (Virginia) and Nate Easley (San Joaquin Delta), who each had three hits and two RBIs on the afternoon. Jake Johansmeier (Eastern Illinois) turned in a quality start, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, striking out a pair and boosting his record to 5-1. Growlers’ 3rd baseman Jordan Stading (Houston) went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and an RBI in the loss, as Kalamazoo fell to 4-10, losing seven of their last ten ballgames.
Duluth 5, Wisconsin 1
Duluth broke their scoreless drought in the 5th inning, and received a terrific pitching performance and sweeping the Woodchucks, winning their third consecutive game. Starter Mitchell Bauer (Minnesota State Mankato) received his first victory of the year, tossing seven innings, allowing a run on three hits, while striking out three. Left fielder Elijah Dilday (Nebraska) sparked the offense with a pair of hits and runs, knocking in an RBI, giving him thirteen on the year. Wisconsin’s catcher Mason Fishback (Riverside City College) provided the only form of offense on the night, hitting a solo home run in the 3rd inning as the Chucks dropped their third straight game.
Mankato 7, Alexandria 6
After Alexandria scored a shocking three runs in the 9th inning to pull ahead 6-4, the MoonDogs responded in the bottom half with three runs of their own, walking off and splitting the series with the Blue Anchors. Kyle Weston (James Madison) provided the game-winning hit, as his two-run single in the 9th scored Brinn Bell (St. Ambrose) and pinch-runner Jack Flansburg (Cypress C.C.) gave his team their fifth win of the second half. In a game where both bullpens were not strong, MoonDog reliever Connor O’Brien (Southern Mississippi) blew the save in the top of the inning, giving up three runs, but received his second win of the year, thanks to his offensive comeback. Blue Anchors left fielder Anthony Marks (Coastal Carolina) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, as Alexandria moved back to 7-5.
Willmar 7, Thunder Bay 2
Willmar jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after two innings and maintained their position, sweeping the three-game series and winning their fourth-straight game. Stingers’ 1st baseman Reagan Fowler (Creighton) had a nice night at the dish, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Starter Zach Strecker (Kentucky) picked up his third victory, throwing six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and striking out a pair of batters. Thunder Bay’s Jared James (Long Beach State) extended his hit streak to four games, going 3-for-5 with an RBI as the Border Cats dropped into last place in the North.
Kalamazoo @ Battle Creek 11:05 AM
La Crosse @ Madison 11:35 AM
Eau Claire @ Lakeshore 6:35 PM
La Crosse @ Madison 7:05 PM
Battle Creek @ Kalamazoo 7:05 PM
Alexandria @ Waterloo 7:05 PM
Rochester @ Mankato 7:05 PM