Loggers hit walk off bomb, Rox build division lead.
In the final slate of games before the All-Star break, the South Division experienced some shifting around as La Crosse moved into a game behind Kenosha for the South lead, while Madison split their doubleheader in Battle Creek, sitting a 1 1/2 game out. The Rox continue to separate themselves from the rest of the North, sweeping the Border Cats and holding a 2 1/2 game lead amongst the rest of their division.
Lakeshore 7, Eau Claire 0 (Game One, 9 Innings)
The Chinooks rebounded from last night’s defeat, as they had no issues disposing of the Express in part one of the Sunday doubleheader, improving to 8-14. Starter John Schreiber (Kent State) earned his second win in almost a two-month span, tossing six scoreless innings, scattering five hits and striking out three, while Jack Landwehr (Illinois State) went the rest of the way, giving up just four hits over three innings of work, striking out two and earning his second save of the year. Chinooks trio of Doug Kraeger (Richmond), Andrew Shaps (Arizona State), and Anthony Massicci (Canisius) totaled seven of the team’s eleven hits, providing the offense in game one. Express leadoff man Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) got on base three times, with two hits and a walk, as Eau Claire fell to 7-11 in the second half.
Eau Claire 10, Lakeshore 4 (Game Two, 9 Innings)
A seven-run 3rd inning was more than enough offense for Eau Claire, taking the doubleheader split against Lakeshore. Leadoff man Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) continued his strong afternoon, providing three hits a top the lineup, knocking in a run, while Michael Papierski (LSU) went 1-for-4 with three RBIs. Typically one of Eau Claire’s strongest batters, Teddy Cillis (Hofstra) came in a relief role, throwing 1 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, while earning his second win of the year. Lakeshore’s Lucas Raley (Lake Erie) went 2-for-5 with an RBI, as the right fielder will display his talents on the big stage Tuesday, heading to Wisconsin Rapids for the 2015 All-Star Game.
Alexandria 5, Rochester 4
After jumping out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, the Blue Anchors held off a late 9th inning rally from the Honkers to take the series and move into a tie with Willmar for 3rd place in the division. Alexandria’s Drew Fearing (North Dakota State) and Matt Duce (Dallas Baptist) provided all five of their team’s runs, as both registered home runs in the victory. Reliever Tyler Hasper (Heartland C.C.) collected his first victory of the season, throwing two shutout innings and striking out two batters. Rochester’s leadoff man Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) recorded his third home run in five games, hitting a grand slam in the 9th inning to make things tight in the end, however the Honkers fell to 10-10 for the second half of the season.
Duluth 8, Waterloo 5
Duluth continues to move up the North standings, winning eight of their last ten games as they swept the series against Waterloo, moving into second place. Jimmy Heck (Minnesota-Duluth) went 3-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice, while Holden Cammack (Oral Roberts) turned in a two-hit and two-RBI effort in the win. Backed by a heavy amount of runs, Mitchell Bauer (Minnesota State Mankato) received his second win, going five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and struck out five. Waterloo slid to 5th place in the North, but was led tonight by leadoff man Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) who extended his hitting streak to a modest five games with three hits and an RBI.
Battle Creek 12, Madison 8 (Game One, 9 Innings)
In an offensive showcase, the Bombers came out on top, upsetting the visiting Mallards and taking part one of their doubleheader. Eight of Battle Creek’s nine batters recorded hits, highlighted by Dan Swain’s (Siena) three-hit, four run game, improving his batting average to an impressive .312 on the season. Reliever Fred Manke (Minnesota) collected his first win of the season, allowing four runs (none earned) over three innings, striking out a pair. Mallards’ Bryce Carter (Stanford) went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs as they dropped back into 3rd place in the South with an 11-8 mark.
Madison 5, Battle Creek 3 (Game Two, 8 Innings)
Fighting to a stalemate after seven innings in game two of the Sunday doubleheader, the Mallards stole the finale, plating home two runs in the top of the 8th and picking up the extra-innings victory. Cameron Frost (Washington State) broke the tie with a fielder’s choice RBI, while Jean Ramirez (Illinois State) knocked him in with an RBI single, finishing the night with a dazzling night at the plate with four hits. Tyler Frohwirth (Minnesota State) received his second victory as he made things interesting, allowing a hit and walk, but held off the Bombers lineup in the bottom half for the split. Battle Creek’s shortstop Lin Li (Taiwan) carried his team’s offense with two hits and an RBI, as the Bombers sit in a tie for 7th place at 6-13.
Wisconsin 6, Kalamazoo 0
Wisconsin received an outstanding performance from their starter Devin Skapura, throwing a complete game shutout, as they took both games in Kalamazoo, moving to 8-9. Skapura was dominant, allowing just three hits all game, while striking out a season-high nine strikeouts, as he has not allowed a single run in his last 21 1/3 innings of work. Chucks’ left fielders Jared Oliva (Arizona) provided three hits and an RBI, as his team enters the All-Star break on a high note. Growlers’ shortstop Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) was the lone Kalamazoo batter to record an extra-base hit, hitting a double in the 9th, while stealing his 12th base of the season, while his team fell to last place in the South, owning a 6-15 record.
La Crosse 4, Wisconsin Rapids 3
Entering the 9th inning tied at three, Loggers 1st baseman Ronnie Gideon (Texas A&M) stepped to the plate for a pinch-hit appearance and ended the game with a walk off solo home run, brining La Crosse to within a game of Kenosha for first place. Along with Gideon’s heroic night, Loggers’ All-Star shortstop Mason McCoy (Illinois Central) added two more hits to his league-high total of 89 for the season. Reliever Jordan Jess (Minnesota) tossed the final three innings scoreless, giving up just one hit and striking out four, moving to 3-0. Rapids 1st baseman Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) provided two doubles and an RBI in the loss, as they fell a game below .500 at 8-9.
Green Bay 7, Kenosha 5
The Bullfrogs jumped out to an early lead and held on for the series split, moving into a tie for third place with Madison, only two games out of first place. Designated hitter Desi Ammons (Belmont) paced the offense with another multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while shortstop Jack Strunc (Washington State) added two hits and a run. Green Bay’s Connor Donovan (Lehigh) entered in the 4th inning, and threw two innings of relief, sitting down all six batters he faced on his way to his fourth victory of the season. Kenosha’s Brody Westmoreland (San Diego State) continues to tear the cover off the ball, going 2-for-5, hitting his fourth home run and finishing with three RBIs, as the Kingfish hold a slim one game lead over La Crosse in the South Division.
St. Cloud 10, Thunder Bay 3
A late offensive rally allowed the Rox to cruise to their fourteenth victory, sweeping their home series against Thunder Bay and building a 2 ½ game lead over the rest of the North. Leadoff man Marcus Carson (Kentucky) and Lee Miller (Davidson) each led the way with three hits and three RBIs. Reliever Collin Strall (LSU) deservedly earned his first win of the season, throwing the final 3 1/3 innings perfectly, sitting down all ten batters he faced. Thunder Bay’s Joe Gellenbeck (Xavier) broke out of his 0-11 slump, totaling three hits on the night as the Border Cats now own an uninspiring 5-14 record.
Willmar 7, Mankato 5
The Stingers broke the tie game in the 7th inning, plating two runs and splitting the series, moving into a tie for second place with Duluth. Willmar’s Tyler Leffler (Bradley) provided three RBIs and two hits, while catcher Troy Dixon (St. John’s) added a pair of RBIs as well for the first-half champs. Zach Strecker (Kentucky) came out of the bullpen in a relief role, throwing two scoreless innings en route to his fourth victory, while All-Star closer Brady Anderson (Florida Gulf Coast) tossed the final four outs of the game scoreless, receiving his league-leading twelfth save. MoonDogs’ outfielder Brinn Bell (St. Ambrose) went 3-for-5 with an RBI in the loss, dropping to 7-11 in the second half.
No games are scheduled for tomorrow.