Rox, Huskies Earn Walk-off Wins Saturday Night
The 2016 Northwoods League season has seen plenty of extra inning and walk-off victories early in the year, and that was the case again on Saturday night. The St. Cloud Rox and Duluth Huskies each won in their final at bats. Two games also went into extra innings during the night's action, including the Huskies' victory over the Willmar Stingers that went into 12 innings.
Battle Creek 12, Green Bay 9 – Game 1
The Green Bay Bullfrogs and Battle Creek Bombers completed their game from yesterday that was suspended in the third inning because of bad weather, and the Bombers pulled out the 12-9 victory in a slugfest. Green Bay got on the scoreboard first with a three-run bottom of the first inning, followed by a solo home run by Marcus Schoemaker (Lenoir Rhyne University) to lead off the third and give the Bullfrogs a 4-0 lead. However, Battle Creek scored in five of the next six innings for the come-from-behind victory. The Bombers took the lead in the top of the sixth inning when leftfielder Daniel Jipping (Central Michigan) connected on a grand-slam home run for his third of the season.
Green Bay 4, Battle Creek – Game 2
The second game of the doubleheader went just seven innings, and the Green Bay Bullfrogs defeated the Battle Creek Bombers 4-3 to split the two games on Saturday. Battle Creek had a 3-1 lead but the Bullfrogs scored three in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good. The Bombers actually outhit Green Bay in the loss but left 10 runners on base. Daniel Jipping (Central Michigan) hit his second home run of the day for Green Bay and was named the Northwoods League Position Player of the Night.
La Crosse 4, Thunder Bay 0
La Crosse pitcher Nick Raquet (William Mary) threw a phenomenal game for the Loggers, as they defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats 4-0 on Saturday night. The sophomore lefthander tossed eight shutout innings and allowed just three hits and a walk with five strikeouts for his first win of the season. The Loggers scored a single run in each of the first, third, eight and ninth innings. Mason McCoy (Iowa), Garrett Zech (South Florida) and Gavin Johns (Yavapai) all recorded multiple hits for La Crosse, who are now riding a three-game winning streak and improved to 6-6 on the season.
Kalamazoo 14, Wisconsin 4
Of the 11 players that recorded an at-bat for the Kalamazoo Growlers, each one of them recorded a hit on Saturday night in a 14-4 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Kalamazoo finished with 18 hits in its offensive explosion. Growlers' leadoff hitter, shortstop Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois), hit 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored. Kopach's college teammate, designated hitter Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois) also had a three-hit night a RBI and a run scored. Righthander Devin Pellien (Nova Southeastern) picked up the vicory for Kalamazoo, who improved to 8-4 to move into a tie for first place in the North Division with Madison.
Mankato 7, Eau Claire 3
The Mankato MoonDogs belted out two home runs in a 7-3 victory over the Eau Claire Express on Saturday night. Bryce Adams (LSU) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth for his second home run in as many days. Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) hit his third homer of the season with a two-run shot in the eighth for a pair of insurance runs to make the score 7-3. Mankato starter Nate Jones (Northwestern State) struck out seven batters but did not record a win because he threw just 4 2/3 innings for the MoonDogs, who improved to 8-4 on the year.
Rockford 10, Kenosha 2
A pair of four-run innings for the Rockford Rivets were the difference in a 10-2 home victory over the Kenosha Kingfish. Rockford rallied for four in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-0 lead. Kenosha scored two runs in the top of the seventh, but the Rivets responded with four more in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach for the Kingfish. The Rivets recorded 12 hits, and five batters in their starting lineup finished with multiple hits. Braden Williams (Texas Tech) reached base three times with a hit and two walks. He also knocked in three runs and scored three more himself, as Rockford moved to .500 on the season.
St. Cloud 10, Rochester 9
After a pair of comebacks from the Rochester Honkers on Saturday night, the St. Cloud Rox were able to survive and secure the victory with a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth. St. Cloud jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four innings, but Rochester responded with two in the fifth and two more in the sixth to tie the game. The Rox rallied for four runs in the seventh to take an 8-4 advantage, but the Honkers came right back with five in the eighth to take the lead. St. Cloud added a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 9 and set the stage for the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Drew Freedman (Wake Forest University) walked and advanced to second on a passed ball with Brendan Illies (University of North Carolina) at the plate. Later in the at bat, Illies singled to score Freedman and win the game for the Rox.
Wisconsin Rapids 5, Madison 4
In a game that included nine errors cobined, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters were able to take down the Madison Mallards 5-4 on Saturday night on the road. Madison clung to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second until Wisconsin Rapids plated three in the fifth, and Madison scored once in the bottom of the inning for a 3-2 Rafters' advantage. Wisconsin Rapids scored a run in the sixth and seventh innings to extend the lead to three, and Madison cut the deficit to 1 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Mallards came up empty in the final inning, as the Rafters improved to 7-4.
Waterloo 7, Lakeshore 5
The Lakeshore Chinooks took a 4-0 lead and held the Waterloo Bucks off the scoreboard until the seventh inning, and he Bucks came back for the 7-5 win. Waterloo scored a run in the top of the seventh and four more in the top of the ninth to take a 5-4 lead. Lakeshore's Joe Duncan (Eastern Illinois) doubled to score a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game and force extra innings. Waterloo centerfielder Matthew Paciello (Kirkwood Community College) connected on a two-run home run in the top of the 10th to put the Bucks in the lead, and the Chinooks went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
Duluth 5, Willmar 4
It took 12 innings to decide the outcome of the game, but the Duluth Huskies took home the victory on Saturday night in the bottom of the 12th to defeat the Willmar Stingers 5-4 in walk-off fashion. With the game tied at 4 after 11 1/2 innings, the Huskies rallied with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning. Following a strikeout and fly out, Nic Strasser (West Florida) doubled, and he scored one batter later when Daniel Gardner (San Diego) singled for the victory. Duluth improved to 6-6 on the season, while the Stingers dropped to 5-7.
Green Bay @ Kalamazoo (1:05 PM)
Duluth @ St. Cloud (1:05 PM)
Madison @ Wisconsin (3:05 PM)
Kenosha @ Waterloo (3:35 PM)
Rockford @ Wisconsin Rapids (4:05 PM)
Battle Creek @ Lakeshore (5:05 PM)
Eau Claire @ Thunder Bay (5:05 PM)
Rochester @ La Crosse (5:05 PM)
Willmar @ Mankato (6:05 PM)