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McCoy sets single-season hits record, La Crosse sweeps critical twin bill.

As the final regular season series went underway Saturday, several playoff-bound teams faced off against one another, as the 2015 postseason awaits. Loggers star 2nd baseman Mason McCoy had a memorable night, cementing himself in Northwoods League history as he broke Luis Rivera's single-season hit record set 20 years ago, setting a new mark with 111 total base-knocks for the season. Hidden behind McCoy's amazing night, La Crosse swept their doubleheader against Madison in a battle between two South Division playoff teams. Finishing the season with a heavyweight series between both divisional leaders, the Rox took round one against Kenosha, shutting out the Kingfish in the series opener. 

 

La Crosse 6, Madison 1 (Game One, 7 Innings)

In a battle between two playoff-bound squads coming out of the South Division, the Loggers took game one of the Saturday night doubleheader, cruising to their 20th victory. The feared La Crosse lineup was led by a trio of batters as Mason McCoy (Illinois Central), Jordan Zimmerman (Mesa C.C.), and Ryan Kirby (San Diego) supplied all the offense with all three registering home runs, and driving in all six of their runs. Starter Alex Shake (Illinois Central) earned his third win in the shortened contest, throwing five innings, allowing a run on four hits and struck out four. Madison’s All-Star right fielder Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s) provided all of his team’s offense in part one, going 1-for-3 with his 44th RBI of the season, as Madison’s seven game win streak has come to an end, owning a 22-12 record.

La Crosse 2, Madison 0 (Game Two, 7 Innings)

The Loggers made a huge statement Saturday night, sweeping the doubleheader from Madison, and improving to 21-15 for the second half. La Crosse used three different pitchers to combine for the shutout victory, with Neil Lang (Grossmont) started the game, throwing four innings, giving up five hits and striking out six, while Jordan Jess (Minnesota) was rewarded the win with his two inning effort out of the bullpen, and finally All-Star Ty Provencher (Long Beach State) collected his 14th save with a scoreless 9th inning. Luis Trevino (Navarro College) carried his offense throughout, going a perfect 3-for-3, knocking in all of his team’s runs. Madison still remain in 2nd place for half number two, Jason Goldstein (Illinois) and Anthony Gonsolin (St. Mary’s) each recorded a pair of hits in the loss.

Alexandria 14, Rochester 12

The Blue Anchors and Honkers found themselves locked in an offensive showcase Saturday night, as both teams combined for 34 hits and 26 runs, with Alexandria edging out their North Division opponent. Josh Merrigan (North Carolina) and Kyle Richardson (Notre Dame) highlighted their offensive effort, combined going 5-for-10, with five RBIs and three runs scored, while leadoff man Steve Sada (Miami Ohio) recorded three hits and scored four times. No pitcher was safe in tonight’s contest, however Jake Matthys (Southwest Minnesota State) collected his third win, throwing four innings of relief, giving up a run (none earned) on three hits and struck out three. The Honkers continue to hit a rough patch upon entering the postseason, losing their fifth straight game, but were led offensively by a terrific night at the plate by Scott Schreiber (Nebraska) who hit his third home run, finishing with three hits, four RBIs, and scored twice.

St. Cloud 2, Kenosha 0

Finishing the 2015 regular season in a highly anticipated matchup between the two leaders of the North and South Divisions, St. Cloud took the first round, shutting out the Kingfish and extending their win streak to seven. Rox starter Domenick Carlini (Southeastern Louisiana) turned in a defiant performance off the round, throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings, giving up just four hits and striking out five, improving to 5-2 on the year, while star closer Trevor Charpie (Nevada) tossed a scoreless 9th inning to record his 11th save. The St. Cloud lineup did just enough to push their team to victory, as Brett Pope (Western Carolina) pushed his hit streak to five, going 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, while Austin Athmann (Minnesota) added two hits in the win. Kenosha’s Pat McInerney (Illinois) went 2-for-3 with a walk in the loss, as the Kingfish still clinched the South for both halves this season, with a 25-10 record for the second half. With the win the Rox currently have the most wins by a team (29) in Northwoods League history for a half.

Duluth 4, Thunder Bay 2

The Huskies scored all of their runs by the 5th inning, and held the Border Cats scoreless for the final four innings, taking the series opener, advancing to 20-15 in the second half. Staying consistent all season for Duluth, Alex Wojciechowski (Minnesota-Duluth) totaled three hits on the night, registering his first home run of the season and driving in a pair of RBIs, leading his team to victory. Starter Jonathon Ludwig (Minnesota State Mankato) notched his first victory of the season, throwing five innings, giving up a pair of runs (one earned) on six hits and a pair of strikeouts. Thunder Bay’s Dan Rizzie (Xavier) continued his stellar hitting streak to 23 games, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, as the Border Cats dropped their second straight game.

Mankato 8, Eau Claire 7

Mankato entered in the 9th inning down 7-5, and scored three runs in the final frame, shocking the visiting Express in walk-off fashion. Brinn Bell (St. Ambrose) tied the game at seven, with a two-run single, followed by Kyle Weston (James Madison) proved to be the hero in the next at-bat, scoring Bell on a base hit for the game-winner. Bell finished the night with three RBIs, while Weston added two hits and a run scored. Reliever Kyle Goodbrand (Saddleback C.C.) threw a scoreless 9th inning, striking out a batter and was rewarded with his fourth win in result of the walk off victory. Eau Claire’s Tyler Adkison (San Diego State) had a stellar night in the devastating loss, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, as the Express have found trouble in finishing their 2015 season, losing seven of their last ten games.

Lakeshore 4, Kalamazoo 3

Lakeshore continues to be one of the hottest teams in the South Division, scoring three runs in the 7th inning and winning their fourth consecutive ballgame in a narrow series opening victory over Kalamazoo. Greg Deichmann (LSU) led his team offensively with a two-run double, while Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) recorded his second home run of the season, driving in five runs in his last three games, while owning an eight game hit streak. Lake Bachar (UW-Whitewater) dominated the Growlers for the second time this season, giving seven innings of work, surrendering a pair of runs on just one hit, and striking out five as he collected his team-leading sixth victory. Kalamazoo’s shortstop Justin Fletcher (Northern Illinois) added another game to his team-best sixteen game hit streak, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, leading his team with 32 on the year, as the Growlers have now recorded their 30th loss of the second half.

Wisconsin Rapids 6, Green Bay 4

The Rafters jumped out to an early lead at home, and held off a late Bullfrogs rally, en route to their 17th victory of the second half. Outfielder Sam Tolleson (Central Florida) paced his offense again, going 1-for-2 with a pair of RBIs and walk, while catcher Michael McCann (Seattle) finished with a pair of hits and a run. Wisconsin Rapids relieve Dmitry Shtykher (Russia) was proficient in his first start of the year, tossing five innings, allowing a run on four hits and struck out three, as he earned his first victory of the season. Newly acquired Ray Greco (UW-Stevens Point) powered his team offensively in the loss, going 2-for-4, hitting a solo shot in the 3rd inning, his first of the year, as the Bullfrogs still have reservations for the postseason, with their 41-29 overall record.

Willmar 7, Waterloo 5

Willmar racked up 13 hits in their final tune-up before the regular season comes to a close, winning their third straight game by way of defeating the Bucks. The Stingers needed a duo of Ky Parrott (James Madison) and Troy Dixon (St. John’s), who each recorded home runs, while combining for five hits and five RBIs, pacing their team in the series opener. Starter Colton Boucher (Northern State) provided five innings of work, giving up three runs on five hits, fanning three batters and improving to 5-1, becoming victorious in back-to-back starts. Waterloo’s Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem State) shined despite he loss, going 3-for-4, slugging his third home run and driving in three runs, while scoring twice, as the Bucks remain in the cellar amongst the North Division for the second half, owning a 13-21 mark.

Battle Creek 8, Wisconsin 7

Breaking out of their three game losing streak, the Bombers jumped out to an early lead and held off a late Wisconsin comeback, taking the series opener in Wausau. Battle Creek was led by center fielder Dan Swain (Siena) who went 3-for-5, scoring three times and driving in a pair of RBIs, while Niko Pacheco (Cal State Fullerton) finished with three hits and an RBI in the win. Starter Nick Medeiros (Santa Clara) advanced his record to 2-3, hurling six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and striking out six. Woodchucks’ star catcher Albee Weiss (Cal State Northridge) was fantastic in the loss, hitting a pair of bombs, setting a league-high mark of 17 on the year, while finishing with four RBIs, as Wisconsin has now lost three straight contests.

 

Sunday’s Schedule

Rochester @ Alexandria 1:05 PM

Green Bay @ Wisconsin Rapids 5:05 PM

Madison @ La Crosse 5:05 PM

Duluth @ Thunder Bay 5:05 PM

Battle Creek @ Wisconsin 5:05 PM

Kalamazoo @ Lakeshore 5:05 PM

Eau Claire @ Mankato 6:05 PM

Waterloo @ Willmar 7:05 PM

Kenosha @ St. Cloud 7:05 PM