Eau Claire walks off for second consecutive night, Duluth wins fifth-straight.
Wednesday night's league action saw a combination of high-octane offense and late-inning heroics as Eau Claire celebrated another game-winner in the 9th inning against Mankato. Duluth remained the hottest team in the league, winning their fifth consecutive contest as they used a two-run final inning to walk off against Green Bay for the series sweep. Wisconsin completed a surprising sweep of the South-leading Kingfish, pulling out a slim-margin victory.
Lakeshore 12, Kalamazoo 0
The Chinooks wasted no time rebounding from their series opening loss, as they blew out the visiting Growlers, moving to 7-11 in the second half. Doug Kraeger (Richmond) recorded his third-consecutive two-hit night, slugging his fifth home run, while adding three RBIs. Leadoff man Anthony Massicci (Canisius) and Jake Romano (Miami Ohio) each record three hits and two RBIs in the rout as well. Starter Marshall Kasowski (Houston) bounced back from his previous start, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven, improving to 4-0 on the year. Kalamazoo’s catcher Max Schuman (Utah) was the only batter to record two hits on the night as the Growlers dropped into 8th place in the South at 5-12.
Wisconsin 9, Kenosha 8
After seemingly cruising to a series sweep of the Kingfish, the Chucks almost gave the game away, as a five-run 9th inning from Kenosha closed the lead to one, but Wisconsin’s bullpen held on for the victory. Woodchucks’ All-Star Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) hit another home run, his ninth on the campaign, finishing the night with three hits and two RBIs. Simon Mathews (Georgetown) picked up his fourth victory, going six innings, allowing three runs (two runs) on four hits, and struck out four. Reliever Robert Zeigler (Kentucky) made things interesting in the 9th inning, allowing three base-runners but struck out the final batter of the game with the bases loaded to receive his seventh save. Right fielder Eric Filia (UCLA) went 3-for-5 with an RBI in the loss, as Kenosha holds a slim one game lead over the rest of the South Division.
Duluth 10, Green Bay 9
Entering the 9th inning down 9-8, the Huskies provided a valiant comeback in the final inning, scoring two-runs and stealing the series finale from Green Bay. After falling down 6-0 to begin the game, Duluth’s Justin Paulsen (Missouri State) powered the team back with three hits, while his lone-RBI was the game-winner as he scored Elijah Dilday (Nebraska), leading to their fifth consecutive victory. Reliever Moises Ceja (UCLA) was rarely knocked around for two runs on two hits, but received his second victory of the season in result of the walk off game-winner. Bullfrogs’ 1st baseman Ryan Donovan (Hofstra) added to his spectacular 2015 season, going 2-for-5, hitting his sixth home run and totaling four more RBIs, giving him a league-leading 41 on the year.
Eau Claire 5, Mankato 4
The hometown Express fans were treated to another outstanding ballgame as their team walked off against Mankato for the second-straight night, and took the series sweep. Travon Benton (New Mexico J.C.) was tonight’s hero, as his RBI single scored Daulton Varsho (UW-Milwaukee), as Eau Claire collected their third consecutive victory. Benton finished the night with a pair of hits and RBIs. Reliever Trent Shelton (Oregon State) recorded his first victory, going five innings of work, allowing two runs (one earned), four hits and fanned four batters. Mankato’s 3rd baseman David Metzgar (Cal State Bakersfield) went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk in the loss, as his team has now fell into 8th place with a 5-9 record.
Madison 6, Wisconsin Rapids 1
Madison battled back to take the series split against Wisconsin Rapids, as they move into a game behind Kenosha for the South Division lead. Mallards’ trio of Jean Ramirez (Illinois Sate), Cameron Frost (Washington State), and Charlie Cody (Virginia) accounted for five hits and four RBIs, powering their team to victory. Madison’s starter A.J. Bogucki (North Carolina) registered his third win, making him victorious in back-to-back starts, needing just five innings of work, giving up one run (none earned) on just two hits, while striking out four batters. Rapids’ left fielder Beau Jordan (LSU) contributed his team’s only RBI of the night, going 1-for-3 as the Rafters moved into 5th place at 7-6 in the second half.
La Crosse 11, Battle Creek 5
In front of a sellout Battle Creek crowd, the Loggers shot down the Bombers for the series sweep, winning their third-straight game. Ryan Kirby (San Diego) went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, recording his fifth bomb of the year, while Chris Baker (Washington) provided three hits, two runs and an RBI. Loggers’ Matthew Naylor (North Florida) came out of the bullpen to throw four innings of relief, allowing no runs and three hits, while striking out a pair of batters en route to his third victory. Battle Creek’s Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) took home Player of the Night honors in the loss, going 3-for-4, hitting his first home run of the year and totaling four RBIs as the Bombers remain in last place in the South with a 4-11 mark.
Thunder Bay 2, Rochester 1
Thunder Bay finally came out on top of a one-run ballgame, taking the series finale against the second place Honkers. Jeremy Charles (Hartford) was terrific off the mound, earning Pitcher of the Night honors, throwing a complete game, allowing just one run, over seven hits, tying a season-high record of six strikeouts while improving to an impressive 5-1. Thunder Bay’s leadoff man Jared James (Long Beach State) extended his hit-streak to six games, going 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks, as he continues to provide a spark a top the Border Cats’ lineup. Honkers’ center fielder Alex Schultz (Nebraska-Omaha) added two hits and a walk, stealing his ninth bag of the season, as Rochester remains in second place in the North, falling 2 ½ games behind St. Cloud.
Willmar vs. St. Cloud (Postponed)
The series finale between Willmar and St. Cloud was cancelled due to severe weather. A doubleheader has been scheduled between both teams on August 2nd, with the first game beginning at 5:05 PM.
St. Cloud @ Green Bay 6:05/8:05 PM (Doubleheader)
Alexandria @ Eau Claire 6:35 PM
Duluth @ Mankato 7:05 PM
Waterloo @ Thunder Bay 7:05 PM
Willmar @ Rochester 7:05 PM
La Crosse @ Kalamazoo 7:05 PM
Lakeshore @ Madison 7:05 PM
Wisconsin @ Battle Creek 7:05 PM
Wisconsin Rapids @ Kenosha 7:05 PM