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La Crosse walks off against Lakeshore, Kenosha keeps winning.

As the final week of the 2015 season approaches, the playoff picture has begun to clear up as several teams have clinched spots for the postseason. La Crosse used a three-run 9th inning to force extras, eventually walking off in the 10th in a South Division barnburner. Rochester has begun to round out their season on a high-note, becoming victorious in the last six games, sweeping Duluth in a clash of two North Division playoff teams. The Rox also remained the leaders in their division, sweeping the Sunday doubleheader against the first half champion Stingers. 

 

Rochester 15, Duluth 3

The Honkers offense put on another clinic against Duluth Sunday afternoon, totaling 19 hits throughout the game and sweeping their North Division foe. Every Rochester hitter recorded at least one hit, however the top three batters of their lineup were instrumental in the win as Alex Schultz (Nebraska-Omaha), Ryan Webberley (Cal Poly Pomona), and Miles Mastrobuoni (San Mateo) combined for a stellar eight hits, eight RBIs, drawing seven walks, and scored eight times. Starter Joshua Pigg (Hawaii) advanced his perfect record to 3-0, tossing six innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out a pair of batters. Duluth’s shortstop Terrin Vavra (Minnesota) drove in a pair of RBIs in the loss, as the Huskies have clinched a playoff spot, but remain 3 ½ games out of first place for the second half.

Alexandria 3, Waterloo 1

Alexandria used strong outings from four different pitchers, as they platooned their way to shutting down the Waterloo lineup, while taking both games at home from the Bucks. Mitch Larson (Nebraska-Omaha) earned his second victory of 2015, throwing 2 2/3 innings of relief, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out a batter, while Tyler Hasper (Heartland C.C.) completed the sweep, closing the door in the 9th inning with a scoreless frame, earning his second save. Blue Anchors leadoff man Drew Fearing (North Dakota State) carried his team to victory at the top of the lineup, providing a two-run single in the 2nd inning, which was the difference. Waterloo has now fallen into the basement of the North Division, losing their ninth straight game, 3rd baseman Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist) supplied the only form of offense on the night, going 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Madison 8, Wisconsin 2

Continuing to hold their second place overall record in the South, Madison pulled away with four runs in the final 9th inning, taking the series sweep and winning their third straight game. Madison’s center fielder Cameron Frost (Washington State) hit his sixth home run of the year, driving in three RBIs, while newly acquired Matt McCann (Farleigh Dickinson) went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a walk. Starter Sterling Sharp (Eastern Michigan) was sensational off the mound, throwing five innings of no-hit ball, striking out seven batters and earning his first victory of the year. Woodchucks’ outfielder Taylor Kohlwey (UW-La Crosse) was the lone batter to provide any offense, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, as Wisconsin has now lost a record of ten straight games.

Green Bay 6, Kalamazoo 3

Falling into an early hole to being the series finale, Green Bay struck for five runs in the 7th inning, as they earned the series split over Kalamazoo, moving a game above .500 at 16-15. Brian Celsi (California) was the only Bullfrog batter to have a multi-hit game, but knocked in a run while scoring once as well, providing the spark offensively in the win. Typically a position player, Matthew De La Rosa (Lenoir-Rhyne) entered out of the bullpen to throw 1 1/3 innings, giving up a pair of runs and striking out two, but was backed by his offense, and earned his first win of the season. The Growlers made Northwoods League history tonight, losing their 51st game of the season, breaking a league record, but were led by Angelo Armenta (USC) who was a home run away from the cycle, and scored twice.  

La Crosse 13, Lakeshore 12 (10 Innings)

In a wild back-and-forth offensive showcase, La Crosse scored three runs in the 9th inning to force extra innings, which led to them walking off in the next inning, shocking Lakeshore for the series split. La Crosse’s star Mason McCoy (Illinois Central) continued his record breaking 2015 season, totaling four hits, falling a home run away from the cycle, and scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch. Reliever Graham Spraker (Quincy University) came out of the bullpen tonight, throwing 1 2/3 innings of relief, and being rewarded with the win due to the walk off victory. Chinooks’ catcher Colby Fitch (Louisville) had an outstanding night at the plate in the loss, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk, hitting his first home run of the year and drove in four RBIs, as his team fell back to 15-19 in the second half.

Thunder Bay 10, Eau Claire 5

Thunder Bay used a consistent effort from their offense throughout, taking the series from Eau Claire and playing spoiler as well, knocking the Express out of playoff contention. The Northwoods League’s current batting champ Jared James (Long Beach State) continued to rake, going 2-for-5 and scored three times, advancing his batting average to .365, while Xavier teammates Joe Gellenbeck and Dan Rizzie each provided two-RBI nights. Border Cats’ starter Cole Stapler (Nicholls State) hurled seven innings of work, giving up four runs on eight hits, and fanned four batters and he moved to 4-2 on the year. Eau Claire dropped their fourth straight contest, but was led by Nathan Krause (Winona State) and Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly), who each recorded solo home runs in the loss.

St. Cloud 6, Willmar 2 (Game One, 7 Innings)

St. Cloud jumped out to an early lead, and held on to take part one of their Sunday doubleheader, defeating the first half champs, and extending their lead over the North to 3 ½ games. All but one Rox batter totaled a hit on the night, as Lee Miller (Davidson) crushed his third homer of the year, while walking twice. Reliever Brian Glowicki (Minnesota) recorded his fourth win, his second in back-to-back appearances, tossing three scoreless, giving up just a pair of hits. Willmar’s 1st baseman Reagan Fowler (Creighton) provided three hits and an RBI in the losing effort, as the Stingers dropped 19-11 in half number two.

St. Cloud 3, Willmar 0 (Game Two, 7 Innings)

In the twin bill finale, the Rox received a fantastic start from Sheldon Miks (St. Cloud State), throwing a complete game two-hitter, as St. Cloud pushed their lead to 4 ½ games over Willmar in the North. Miks earned Pitcher of the Night honors, going the distance, giving up a pair of hits, while striking out six and improving to 5-1 on the year. Lee Miller (Davidson) continued to stay hot on Sunday, hitting another solo home run in the nightcap, his fourth of the season, which was all the offense his team needed. Willmar fell back to 19-12, but were led once again by 1st baseman Reagan Fowler (Creighton) who was one of two Stingers to record a hit, as well as drawing a walk.

Wisconsin Rapids 14, Battle Creek 9

In a wild series finale at C.O. Brown Stadium, the Rafters plated six runs in the 8th and cruised to victory after that, sweeping the Bombers on the road. Wisconsin Rapids’ All-Star Brock Carpenter (Seattle) led his team again, highlighted by his two-hit, four-RBI night at the dish, while 1st baseman Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) recorded his seventh bomb of the year, knocking in two runs. No pitcher was safe in this game, but reliever Joey Graziano (St. John’s) tossed a scoreless 7th inning, improving his record to 3-0. Battle Creek’s Dre Gleason (Austin Peay) shined in the loss, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and scoring twice, while hitting his 2nd home run of the season, as the Bombers moved back to 12-19.

Kenosha 9, Mankato 6

The Kingfish used a five-run 4th inning, and scored a run in the final two frames, taking the interleague series sweep in Mankato and winning their fourth straight game. Kenosha’s newest additions were instrumental in the win tonight as John Brodner (Wright State) and Collin Dupree (Montevallo) combined for six hits and three RBIs out of the 8 and 9 hole of their lineup. Mario Samuel (UW-Parkside) tossed an inning giving up three runs (none earned) and struck out two, going on to pick up his third victory of the season, while J.D. Nielsen (Illinois) pitched a six-out save to register his fifth of the year. Mankato’s catcher Tom Imholte (University of Mary) picked up his first two hits in a MoonDogs uniform, driving in a pair of RBIs as well, while his team lost their six straight ballgame, settling into 8th place at 12-18.

 

Monday’s Schedule

Wisconsin @ Wisconsin Rapids 4:05/6:05/7:05 PM

Battle Creek @ Lakeshore 6:35 PM

Duluth @ Eau Claire 6:35 PM

Alexandria @ Madison 7:05 PM

Kalamazoo @ La Crosse 7:05 PM

Mankato @ Willmar 7:05 PM

St. Cloud @ Rochester 7:05 PM

Thunder Bay @ Waterloo 7:05 PM

Green Bay @ Kenosha 7:05 PM