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Pitchers Shine Across the Northwoods League

One week into the 2016 Northwoods League season, more solid pitching was on display on Tuesday night with three shutouts across the league. The St. Cloud Rox, Willmar Stingers and Waterloo Bucks each did not allow a single run in their games. The evening also featured a few exciting finishes, including the Eau Claire Express' walk-off victory over the La Crosse Loggers in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Battle Creek 8, Green Bay 5

The Battle Creek Bombers won their third consecutive game in an 8-5 victory over the Green Bay Bullfrogs. Bombers' shortstop Ryan Dorow (Adrian College) hit 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored, including a three-run triple in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and give Battle Creek a two-run advantage. Green Bay cut the Bombers' lead to 5-4 with two runs in the top of the eighth, but Battle Creek added three in the bottom of the inning to make it a four-run deficit. The Bullfrogs rallied for a run in the top of the ninth, but it was not enough to beat the Bombers.

Kalamazoo 6, Kenosha 3

The Kalamazoo Growlers completed the two-game sweep of the Kenosha Kingfish on Tuesday afternoon with a 6-3 victory. Kalamazoo tied the game at 3 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and added three in the seventh to take the lead. Daniel Lecke (Lafayette College) walked to score a run, and Dan Robinson (Central Michigan) plated two runs with a single. Michael Brettell (Central Michigan) picked up the victory in three innings of relief work. He threw three scoreless and allowed a hit and a walk with a strikeout. Leckie hit 2-for-3 with two runs batted in, a run scored and a pair of walks. The Growlers were patient at the plate all day drawing a whopping 10 walks in the game.

St. Cloud 14, Duluth 0

After losing their first four games, the St. Cloud Rox have gotten back to .500 with four consecutive victories. St. Cloud recorded 18 hits for its fourth win in a 14-0 blowout of the Duluth Huskies, who have now lost four straight following a 4-0 start to the season. The Huskies kept it close throughout most of the game, as the Rox scored a run in the fop of the first, one in the fifth and two in the sixth. However, St. Cloud rallied for four in the seventh, followed by five in the eight and another in the ninth. Austin Dubsky (Murray State) threw scoreless innings and earned the victory as he allowed four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Aaron Rozek (Minnesota State-Mankato) threw three perfect innings with three strikeouts for the save.

Lakeshore 6, Rockford 3

The Lakeshore Chinooks split the two-game series with the Rockford Rivets by winning on Tuesday afternoon by a score of 6-3 at home. The Chinooks scored twice in the bottom of the first and one more in the third. Rockford added a single run in the fourth and fifth, but the Chinooks scored three in the bottom of the sixth. Rightfielder Alex Woinski (Lafayette) ripped a two-run double in the inning, and Royce Ando (Michigan State) followed that up with a RBI single. Rockford cut into the lead in the eighth with a double that plated a run to make the score 6-3.

Eau Claire 4, La Crosse 3

The Eau Claire Express walked off in the bottom of the 11th inning on Tuesday night to defeat the La Crosse Loggers 4-3 at home. The Expess scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to start the scoring, but the Loggers scored three in the ninth to take a 3-1 lead. Sam Hurt (Kent State) scored on an error to cut the lead to one, and Tyler Jones' (Air Force) RBI groundout tied the game at 3 to send the game into extra innings. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th, a wild pitch scored Mickey McDonald (UI-Chicago) to win the game for Eau Claire. Express' starter Austin Schulfer (Milwaukee) threw seven scoreless innings and allowed three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. He was named Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night for his performance.

Wisconsin Rapids 4, Madison 2

After a 6-0 start to the 2016 Northwoods League season, the Madison Mallards lost two straight to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, who improved to 4-3. Madison got on the board in the bottom of the first and added another in the third to take an early 2-0 lead. The score remained the same until the sixth when the Rafters scored their first run of the game. Logan Mattix (Georgia College) led off the seventh inning with a home run, and Wisconsin Rapids added two more in the inning to extend the lead to 4-2. Cameron Busby (Georgia College) earned the victory with 3 2/3 of relief. He gave up no hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

Wisconsin 5, Thunder Bay 2

The Wisconsin Woodchucks improved to 5-2 on the season with a 5-2 victory over the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Tuesday night. Devin Skapura (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) went six innings and allowed one hit and a walk with six strikeouts. Chad Fleischman (Lamar University) singled in a run in the bottom of the first for Wisconsin, who extended the lead to 3-0 after two more runs in the third. Mac Caples (Virginia Tech) and Steve Passatempo (UMass Lowell) each recorded run-scoring hits in the bottom of the seventh. Thunder Bay scored two in the top of the ninth but not enough to beat the Woodchucks.

Willmar 7, Mankato 0

The Willmar Stingers shut out the Mankato MoonDogs 7-0 on Tuesday night at home. After a scoreless 4 1/2 innings, the Willmar Stingers scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, followed by one in the sixth and three more in the seventh to give the Stingers a 7-0 advantage. Blake Stockert (North Dakota State) threw five scoreless innings for Willmar on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Justin Toerner (Cal State Northridge) hit a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored for the Stingers, who improved to 4-4 on the season.

Waterloo 2, Rochester 0

In a game that featured just seven hits combined, the Waterloo Bucks received a phenomenal pitching performance from starter Brett Solano (Menlo College) in a 2-0 victory over the Rochester Honkers. The righty from Campbell, California threw eight shutout innings and allowed just three hits and no walks with seven strikeouts for the win. Tyler Curtis' RBI single in the bottom of the first, and Adam McGinnis (Western Illinois) doubled to score the second run of the game.

Wednesday's Schedule

Rochester @ Mankato (6:05 PM) – Game 1

Rochester @ Mankato (8:05 PM) – Game 2

St. Cloud @ Eau Claire (6:35 PM)

Kalamazoo @ Green Bay (6:35 PM)

Madison @ Lakeshore (6:35 PM)

Kensoha @ Rockford (6:35 PM)

Thunder Bay @ Wisconsin Rapids (7:05 PM)

Duluth @ Waterloo (7:05 PM)

La Crosse @ Willmar (7:05 PM)

Wisconsin @ Battle Creek (7:05 PM)