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Green Bay clinches playoff bid, Madison wins fourth straight.

As the final week of the regular season gets underway in the Northwoods League, the Bullfrogs clinched a spot in the 2015 playoffs, taking the series opener against Kenosha. The Woodchucks and Rafters battled for a rare tripleheader on Monday, as Wisconsin Rapids triumphed, taking two of three against their divisional foe. The Mallards have begun to hit their stride before the playoffs, winning their fourth consecutive game in a terrific comeback effort against Alexandria. 

 

Wisconsin 6, Wisconsin Rapids 2 (Game One, 7 Innings)

The Woodchucks finally broke out of their ten straight losing streak, finishing off the formerly suspended game against their rivals, and taking game one of the tripleheader. Leadoff man L.J. Hatch (Johnson County C.C.) got on base in all four at-bats, going 2-for-2, drawing a pair of walks and driving in an RBI, while Max Ponzurick (Virginia Tech) hit a solo home run, giving him eight on the year. Starter Peter Jewell (UW-Oshkosh) tossed four innings in the shortened opener, giving up a run on five hits, striking out three and picking up his first win. Rafters’ left fielder Blake Molitor (Illinois State) recorded his first home run of the season, as he provided a glimpse of offense in the opener of their Monday marathon. 

Wisconsin Rapids 7, Wisconsin 3 (Game Two, 7 Innings)

The Rafters responded with three runs in the 5th inning, responding to the opening loss and defeating the Woodchucks in game two. Jake Sandlin (Southern Mississippi) provided a stellar performance in the win, going a perfect 4-for-4, registering his fifth bomb, and scoring twice, while Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) added his eighth home run, totaling three hits and a pair of RBIs. Starter John Jaeger (Pacific) improved his record to 3-4, giving 6 1/3 innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and striking out six batters. Chucks’ left fielder Keenan Eaton (Wichita State) supplied a solo home run in the loss, his second of the year, as Wisconsin fell back to 11-20 in the second half.

Wisconsin Rapids 2, Wisconsin 1 (Game Three, 7 Innings)

Rounding out the Monday tripleheader, the Rafters scored the go ahead run in the 4th inning, taking two of three against their divisional rival. In a quick pitching duel, Jake Johansmeier (Eastern Illinois) earned Pitcher of the Night, giving a complete game, giving up just one run on four hits, while striking out eight and picking up his league-leading seventh win. Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern) carried his offense again, hitting a home run in back-to-back games, giving him a team-high nine on the year. Despite faltering by a narrow margin, Jared Helmich (Carthage College) had a strong outing for the Woodchucks, allowing a pair of runs over five innings, striking out three, while his team sits in 8th place at 11-21.

Battle Creek 4, Lakeshore 3                     

The Bombers scored the deciding run in the 8th inning, going on to take the series opener in Lakeshore, as they have now won seven of their last ten games. Lin Li (Taiwan) provided the spark offensively, going 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Josh Smith (Grand Valley State) extended his hit streak to five games and scored twice. Fred Manke (Minnesota) entered out of the bullpen in the 4th inning and completely shut down the Chinooks’ lineup, tossing four scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out a pair of batters as he collected his second win. Lakeshore’s 1st baseman Doug Kraeger (Richmond) hit his seventh home run of 2015 in the loss, as the Chinooks have now dropped back-to-back games, owning a 15-20 record.

Eau Claire 2, Duluth 1

In a North Division pitching duel, the Express scored a pair of runs in the 7th inning, shocking the playoff bound Huskies by taking the series opener. Eau Claire’s 2nd baseman Sam Hurt (Madison Area Technical) went 1-for-3 with an RBI, carrying his team to victory out of the nine hole. Michael Gomez (Cal Poly) started the game, giving up just one run over six innings, while Dalton Roach (Minnesota State) registered his first win of the year, finishing the game with three shut out innings, striking out an outstanding eight batters. Duluth’s Colton Waltner (San Diego) continued to stay hot, giving two hits and an RBI, supplying the only ounce of offense as they Huskies have no lost their last three games.

St. Cloud 9, Rochester 1

The Rox continued their fantastic second half, taking down the Honkers at Mayo Field, ending the Honkers win streak, and boosting their record to 25-8. St. Cloud’s pitching staff continued their dominating performances, as reliever Collin Strall (LSU) improved his record to 2-0, allowing just a run over four innings of work, striking out two batters. Joe Sansone (Florida State) and Liam Bedford (Doane College) combined for six hits and five RBIs, as Sansone took home Player of the Night honors. Rochester’s 2nd baseman Adam Walton (Illinois) finished the night with three hits, hitting safely in his last four games, as the Honkers sit in 4th place with an 18-15 mark.

Madison 6, Alexandria 5

After Alexandria jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the 1st inning, the Mallards mounted an amazing come from behind victory, taking their interleague series opener. Jason Goldstein (Illinois) carried his team to the victory, going 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI, while scoring once. Reliever Justin Watts (Northern Kentucky) tossed the final two innings scoreless, giving up a hit and punched out four batters, earning his fourth victory. Alexandria’s right fielder Ricky Sanchez (Notre Dame) pushed his hit streak to eight games, picking up three hits and an RBI, while scoring once, as the Blue Anchors fell back to .500 at 16-16.

La Crosse 7, Kalamazoo 0

La Crosse cruised to their 19th win of the second half, shutting out the last place Growlers. Will Savage (Columbia) added four hits and an RBI, while 3rd baseman Chris Baker (Washington) pushed his hit streak to five games, driving in three RBIs for the second straight night. Chris Tate (Trinity) was outstanding in his first start of the year, tossing eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out a whopping eight batters. The Growlers continue to find a whole lot to cheer for in 2015, but reliever Akaash Agarwal (California) tossed two scoreless innings of relief, as they fell back to 7-27.

Thunder Bay 10, Waterloo 2

Using a strong effort from their offense, the Border Cats continue to round out 2015 in a positive manner, taking game one in Waterloo. Thunder Bay’s 1st baseman Mikael Mogues (Seton Hall) paced his offense, hitting a home run in back-to-back games, finishing with three hits and a pair of runs and RBIs. Yuji Suzuki (Concordia) bounced back out of a funk, giving a quality start of six innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits, advancing to 2-3 with the win. Although just a graduated senior from high school, Daniel Perry (Iowa) enjoyed his first multi-hit game in the Northwoods League, going 3-for-4, however the Bucks lost their last ten games, setting a franchise record.

Green Bay 4, Kenosha 2

Green Bay scored three runs in the first frame of the contest, and went on to hold off the league’s best team, upsetting the Kingfish at home in the opener. Leadoff man Logan Taylor (Louisville) went 3-for-4 a top the lineup, scoring his team-leading 41st run. All-Star pitcher Jeremy Graf (St. Petersburg) acquired his first win of the season, giving up two runs (none earned) over five innings, giving up five hits and striking out two batters. Kenosha’s right fielder Eric Filia (UCLA) continued to add to his star-filled campaign, going 2-for-4, knocking in his 52nd RBI, however the Kingfish still hold a 3 ½ game lead over the rest of the South Division.

Mankato 7, Willmar 6

The MoonDogs scored two runs in the final frame, shocking the first half champion Stingers at home, winning their 13th game of the second stanza. Mankato’s duo of Eric Schenck-Joblinske (Iowa) and David Metzgar (Cal State Bakersfield) combined for four hits and five RBIs, while Schenck-Joblinske recorded his third homer of the year. Cody O’Brien (Scottsdale C.C.) collected his second win, providing a stellar job out of the set-up role, making way for closer Grant Hamilton (Oklahoma City) to make things a little interesting in the 9th, but held on to pick up his fourth save of the season. Willmar’s Troy Dixon (St. John’s) went 2-for-4, driving in his 25th RBI, as the Stingers have now lost their last three contests.

 

Tuesday’s Schedule

No Games Tuesday as Madison hosts the 2015 Big League Showcase.