Offense dominates the night while Woodchucks hand Growlers largest defeat of 2015.
Friday night experienced some fireworks from the plate, as several contests involved shootouts from multiple offenses. Both Kenosha and St. Cloud remain a top their divisions, winning tonight and building upon their leads. Wisconsin extended their win streak to four games, blowing out Kalamazoo by the largest deficit this year, winning 20-1.
St. Cloud 10, Duluth 4
Rebounding from their series opening defeat, the North-leading Rox bounced back to defeat the Huskies, improving to a stellar 15-6 record in the second half. Racking up 15 hits on the night, St. Cloud was led by Brandon Benson (Georgia College), who went 4-for-5 with an RBI, while Joe Sansone (Florida State) and Liam Bedford (Doane College) each slugged home runs. Starter Zach Pop (Kentucky) was backed by a strong offense, throwing 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, striking out four, and earning his fourth win of the season. Duluth’s catcher Holden Cammack (Oral Roberts) added a pair of RBIs in the loss, as the Huskies fell 2 ½ games behind St. Cloud in the second half.
Eau Claire 4, Rochester 2
Eau Claire used a three-run 5th inning to take the series sweep in Rochester, as they currently enjoying a three-game win streak. The Express middle infielders powered the offense tonight, as 2nd baseman Sam Hurt (Madison Area Technical) contributed a pair of hits and scored twice, while his double-play partner Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly) knocked in two RBIs. Starter Bryce Hensley (Catawba Valley C.C.) deservedly received his first win of the season, throwing seven innings, giving up a pair of runs on seven hits, while striking out seven batters. The 2015 Home-Run Derby Champion Joe DeRoche-Duffin (UConn) went a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk for the Honkers, as they dropped to 10-12 in the North.
Mankato 5, Alexandria 4
The MoonDogs scored four runs in the 8th inning to steal the series split from Alexandria, advancing their record to 8-12. Brinn Bell (St. Ambrose) sparked the Mankato rally, entering as a pinch-hitter and providing a two-run double to the comeback effort. Reliever Jack Czeszewski (Illinois State) collected his second win, throwing 2/3 innings, while All-Star Grant Hamilton (Oklahoma City) pitched a four-out save, striking out three and earning his second save of the year. Alexandria’s 3rd baseman Trooper Reynolds (Dallas Baptist) hit a solo shot, giving him two on the year, while Steve Sada (Miami Ohio) totaled three hits, while the Blue Anchors now own a 12-9 mark for the second half, three games behind St. Cloud for the lead.
Green Bay 10, Lakeshore 7
In a high-powered offensive night from both sides, Green Bay came out on top, moving a game out of second place as they defeated Lakeshore for the series split. Seven Bullfrogs starters racked up at least a hit, led by right fielder Paul Jacobson (South Dakota State) going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Jack Strunc (Washington State) who added a pair of hits and RBIs as well. Luke Lind (North Dakota State) entered in the 3rd inning, throwing four innings of relief, giving up just one hit and striking out five, as he moved to 2-1. Chinooks’ 1st baseman Doug Kraeger (Richmond) went 3-for-5, hitting his sixth home run of the year, finishing with three RBIs, while Lucas Raley (Lake Erie) smashed his league-leading twelfth bomb of the season.
La Crosse 16, Madison 6
After being stunned in the 9th inning last night, the Loggers rebounded to blow out Madison, winning their seventh game in their last ten games. A trio of La Crosse batters paved the way, as Brock Lundquist (Long Beach State), Jordan Zimmerman (Mesa C.C.), and Ryan Kirby (San Diego) combined for ten hits, nine RBIs, and scored eight times. Nolan Gromacki (Missouri) picked up his second victory, throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits, tying a season-high with six strikeouts. Jason Goldstein (Illinois) had a terrific night in the loss, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs, as the Mallards fell two games behind Kenosha in the South Division.
Wisconsin 20, Kalamazoo 1
Marking the largest blow out of 2015, the Woodchucks absolutely demolished the Growlers, en route to their fourth consecutive victory. Shortstop Yusuke Akitoshi (Cal State Northridge) received Player of the Night honors, going 3-for-6, hitting his second home run, and totaling a season-high six RBIs. Simon Mathews (Georgetown) became victorious in his third straight start, throwing five scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out a pair of batters, improving to 5-2 on the season. Kalamazoo embarrassingly had a 31 inning scoreless streak through four games, until Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) snapped it with an RBI single in the 8th inning, while currently the Growlers have lost seven-straight games.
Willmar 11, Waterloo 1
Extending their win-streak to three games, the Stingers dismantled the Bucks at home, taking the series sweep and staying just 1 ½ games behind St. Cloud for the North lead. Although he just graduated high-school this spring, 2015 Minnesota signee Eddie Estrada has easily held his own in the Northwoods League, while carrying his team tonight, with three hits and a season-high five RBIs. Brian Kehner (Presbyterian) collected his third victory, providing seven innings of work, giving up just a run (none earned) on a pair of hits, striking out six batters. Waterloo’s Taylor Lane (Florida) went 1-for-3, scoring his team’s lone run, as the Bucks have now dropped their fourth straight contest.
Thunder Bay 13, Wisconsin Rapids 4
Thunder Bay pulled off a surprising series sweep against Wisconsin Rapids, totaling fourteen hits and pulling off the series sweep. Dan Rizzie (Xavier) propelled his team to victory with a stellar night, going 3-for-5 with five RBIs and a pair of doubles. Starter Johnny York (St. Mary’s) moved to 2-1 on the year, giving up four runs (three earned) over five innings, striking out three. Rapids leadoff man Zack Domingues (Long Beach State) got on base four times, providing two hits and walking twice, as the Rafters fell back to 8-10 in the second half.
Kenosha 6, Battle Creek 4
The Kingfish held off a late Battle Creek rally, sweeping the road series, adding to their league-best record, and holding a two game lead over second place in the South. Catcher Jeremy Vasquez (Florida) propelled his offense, adding three hits and three RBIs, staying hot with eight hits and eight RBIs in his last four games. Brendon Allen (Eastern Illinois) earned his third straight victory, throwing 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, six hits and fanning five batters. Bombers’ 2nd baseman (Penn State) went 2-for-3 with a walk, as Battle Creek has now faltered in their last three games, owning a 6-15 record for the second half.
Duluth @ Alexandria 5:05 PM
Willmar @ Mankato 6:05 PM
Green Bay @ La Crosse 6:05 PM
Eau Claire @ St. Cloud 6:05 PM
Kalamazoo @ Wisconsin Rapids 6:05 PM
Battle Creek @ Kenosha 6:05 PM
Madison @ Lakeshore 6:35 PM
Thunder Bay @ Wisconsin 7:05 PM
Rochester @ Waterloo 7:05 PM