Rochester and Alexandria split doubleheader, Rox and Kingfish cruise to victory.
Rain dictated another slate of games in the Northwoods League as Madison and Battle Creek's contest was called due to rain. Rochester walked off against Alexandria in game one, but the Blue Anchors battled back to take the nightcap. Kenosha and St. Cloud built upon their divisional leads, as they cruised to Saturday victories.
Kenosha 8, Green Bay 1
The Kingfish took game one of their heavyweight battle in Green Bay as they cruised to their thirteenth victory in the second half. Starter Brendon Allen (Eastern Illinois) stifled the Bullfrogs lineup all night, throwing seven innings, allowing just a run on six hits, while striking out a season-high six batters as he moved to 3-2. Kingfish outfielder Eric Filia (UCLA) had a stellar night at the plate, going 3-for-4, falling a double short of the cycle, while recording his second home run and finishing with two RBIs. Green Bay’s right fielder Robb Paller (Columbia) went 2-for-4 in a losing effort, as the Bullfrogs dropped back into fourth place with a 10-8 second half record.
Duluth 8, Waterloo 0
Duluth used some late-inning offense to rout the Bucks, as they registered an outstanding eighteen hits, and have now won seven of their last eight contests. Eric Morell (La Grange College) continued his dominance off the mound, tossing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out seven, improving to 3-2 on the season. Duluth’s shortstop Nick Valaika (UCLA) was the offensive star, collecting three hits, three RBIs, while hitting his third bomb of the year, while outfielder Danny Lee (Manatee) recorded a four-hit night. Waterloo’s Zack Soria (Florida International) went 2-for-3 in the loss, as the Bucks fell into a three-way tie for second place in the North.
St. Cloud 8, Thunder Bay 4
A six-run 3rd inning is enough offense that St. Cloud needed, as they built upon their North lead, holding a 2 ½ game advantage amongst the rest of their divisional opponents. Rox duo of John Sansone (Florida State) and Lee Miller (Davidson) paced the offense with five hits and three RBIs, while scoring three times. Sheldon Miks (St. Cloud State) entered in the fifth inning and threw three strong innings, allowing just one run; as he picked up his fourth win of the year. Thunder Bay continues to stay in the cellar of the North Division, however Dan Rizzie (Xavier) went 3-for-4 with a walk, extending his hitting streak to six games.
Rochester 4, Alexandria 3 (Game One, 7 Innings)
In game one of a matchup of two teams fighting for a North Division playoff spot, Rochester took the first part, as they walked off in the 7th inning and winning their tenth game. Will Paschal (Georgia Gwinnet) was the hero in game one, as his only hit was the decider, hitting a triple into the gap, which was followed by a throwing error by Alexandria’s shortstop which sent him home for the walk off victory. Reliever Ricky Delgado (San Joaquin Delta C.C.) recorded his second win, throwing the top half of the 7th inning and being rewarded from the game-winning hit. Blue Anchors’ All-Star right fielder Josh Merrigan (North Carolina) went 2-for-4, knocking in his 29th RBI in the loss, as Alexandria moved a half-game behind Rochester with a 9-8 record.
Alexandria 5, Rochester 3 (Game Two, 7 Innings)
The Alexandria offense exploded for five runs in the 6th inning and went on to split the doubleheader as they shocked Rochester in late-innings. A pair of Dallas Baptist teammates carried their team to victory as Trooper Reynolds and Matt Duce combined for three RBIs and three hits, leading their team to their tenth victory in the second half. The Blue Anchors’ bullpen shut down Rochester in the end, as Josh Baumgart (Creighton) collected his first win of the season, while another Dallas Baptist member shut the door in the 7th, as Eric White pitched a flawless inning, receiving his third save. Honkers’ shortstop Miles Mastrobuoni (San Mateo) was the only Rochester batter in game two to enjoy a multi-hit night, as he went 2-for-3 with a double.
Wisconsin Rapids 11, La Crosse 4
Wisconsin Rapids made a statement as they began their final series before the All-Star break, totaling fifteen hits and eleven runs as they halted the streaking Loggers. Rafters’ Jake Sandlin (Southern Mississippi) earned Player of the Night, registering three doubles, knocking in three RBIs and scoring twice. Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) added another spectacular night at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3, scoring four times, and hitting his fifth home run of the year. Starter Jack Riley (UConn) took home Pitcher of the Night, allowing just one-hit through six innings of work, while tying a season-high with five strikeouts as he now owns an impressive e4-1 record. La Crosse’s win streak was snapped at six games, but catcher Keith Skinner (North Florida) added two hits and an RBI to his effort, while the Loggers remain tied with Madison for second place in the South Division.
Eau Claire 5, Lakeshore 4
Eau Claire held off a late Lakeshore rally to preserve their seventh win, as they took home game one of their interleague series against the Chinooks by a slim margin. Teddy Cillis was the only Eau Claire batter to register a multi-hit game, as he charged the Express offense, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Reliever Trent Shelton (Oregon State) recorded his second win, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out two, while closer Victor Sanchez (New Mexico) frightened some in the end, allowing a run and walked three, but successfully ended the game, earning his seventh save. Lakeshore dropped to 7-14, but not due to Zarley Zalewski’s (Kent State) four hit night, as he raised his batting average to .292 on the year.
Mankato 7, Willmar 6
The MoonDogs plated the go-ahead run in the 8th inning as they upset the Stingers at home and boosted their second half record to 7-10. Mankato’s Eric Schenck-Joblinske (Iowa) powered his team’s offense going 2-for-3, hitting his second home run of the season and finishing with three RBIs. The MoonDogs used five different pitchers on the night, however reliever Jack Czeszewski (Illinois State) was credited with the win, throwing 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing no hits or runs and striking out a pair of batters. Willmar’s 2nd baseman Manny Jefferson (Pepperdine) collected his first hits in a Stingers uniform, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, as his team fell into a three-way tie with Waterloo and Duluth for second place amongst the North.
Wisconsin 7, Kalamazoo 1
Rain halted play for two-hours to begin the game, however when play resumed, the Chucks scored six runs in the 3rd inning and coasted to the series opening victory over Kalamazoo. Loggers’ reliever Reagan Biechler (Wichita State) tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit and no runs, earning his second victory of the season. Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) added to his All-Star caliber season, hitting his tenth home run, and finished with three RBIs, giving him 32 for the season. Growlers’ 1st baseman Bryce Adams was the lone bright spot in his lineup, going 2-for-3 and scoring the only run.
Madison vs. Battle Creek (Postponed)
Tonight’s game between Madison and Battle Creek was postponed due to inclement weather. The makeup date has resulted in both teams to face off in a doubleheader tomorrow with the first game beginning at 4:05 PM.
Rochester @ Alexandria 1:05 PM
Eau Claire @ Lakeshore 3:05 PM
Duluth @ Waterloo 3:35 PM
Eau Claire @ Lakeshore 5:05 PM
Thunder Bay @ St. Cloud 5:05 PM
Wisconsin Rapids @ La Crosse 5:05 PM
Kenosha @ Green Bay 5:05 PM
Wisconsin @ Kalamazoo 5:05 PM
Madison @ Battle Creek 4:05/6:05 PM (Doubleheader)
Mankato @ Willmar 6:05 PM