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Ricky Ramirez’s Grand Slam Fuels Rox

Friday night's action featured several lopsided victories as six of the nine games were won by four runs or more. St. Cloud had a six-run fourth inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Ricky Ramirez (McNeese State) in a rain-shortened win. Eau Claire had a dominating performance from its starter against Green Bay, while La Crosse pitching faded late in its game against Waterloo with a hit-by-pitch, followed by three walks, which all came with the bases loaded in a four-run loss.

Wisconsin Rapids 4, Kalamazoo 1

The Kalamazoo Growlers took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters scored the next four runs for a 4-1 victory on Friday night. Both starting pitchers threw an effective game. Rafters' Dylan File (Dixie State University) allowed one run on five hits and a walk over five innings with seven strikeouts. Kalamazoo starter BJ Butler (Ball State) allowed his first run of the season in his third start. He allowed an earned run, three total runs, on three hits and zero walks with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Dustin Woodcock (SIU – Edwardsville) hit his second home run of the year with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the third inning for Wisconsin Rapids.

Rockford 10, Lakeshore 5

The Rockford Rivets and Lakeshore Chinooks scored all the combined 15 runs in the first four innings before going scoreless in the final five innings. Every half inning produced a run until the fifth, and the Rivets won 10-5. Rockford recorded 14 hits and forced Lakeshore to go through seven pitchers in the game. Eight Rivets batters recorded hits, including Jacob Vander Wal (Ohio State), who hit in the No. 9 spot in the lineup. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Anthony Dahl (Arkansas) threw four scoreless innings in relief to earn the victory for Rockford.

Eau Claire 9, Green Bay 1

The Eau Claire Express received an outstanding performance from their starter on Friday night in a 9-1 victory over the Green Bay Bullfrogs. Caleb Boushley (UW-La Crosse) threw seven scoreless innings and allowed five hits and zero walks with 11 strikeouts to improve to 2-1 on the season. The Express were in control the entire game and led 9-0 until Green Bay got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the ninth to avoid the shutout. In his lone at bat, Eau Claire rightfielder Jared Mang (New Mexico) connected on a three-run home run in the eighth, as the Express improved to 12-6 on the season.

Madison 10, Battle Creek 2

The Madison Mallards led the whole way, as they crushed the Battle Creek Bombers 10-2 at home. Frank German (North Florida) earned the victory for Madison, as he allowed just one run on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts over five innings of work. The Mallards received big production from the top of their order. Madison's first five batters combined for 10 hits, eight runs and all 10 runs batted in. The Mallards improved to 12-6 on the season for first place in the South Division, while the Bombers dropped to 9-9.

Duluth 9, Rochester 3

In what was a close game throughout, the Duluth Huskies scored five runs in the top of the ninth to take control against the Rochester Honkers to win 9-3 on Friday night. With the game tied at three after six innings, Duluth took the lead with a solo home run hit by Matt Brown (Jeff Co) in the top of the eighth inning, and the Huskies exploded for five in the ninth. Daniel Gardner (San Diego) led off with a home run, while Austin Bernard (Pepperdine) and Daniel Amaral (UCLA) both had two-RBI hits later in the inning. The Huskies recorded 14 hits and improved to 9-9.

Waterloo 7, La Crosse 3

The Waterloo Bucks lost their lead in the middle innings but regained the advantage with a four-run eighth inning to take down the La Crosse Loggers. Waterloo scored two in the fourth to take the lead, but La Crosse scored a single run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to take a 3-2 advantage. In the top of the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded, the Bucks tied the game with a hit-by-pitch, followed by three consecutive walks to plate four runs in the inning. Waterloo added another run in the ninth on a wild pitch to take a 7-3 lead. Waterloo remains in first place in the North Division with a 12-5 record, while the Loggers fell to 11-7.

Kenosha 8, Wisconsin 7

The Kenosha Kingfish scored a pair of runs late to defeat the Wisconsin Woodchucks 8-7 on the road. Kenosha juped out to a 4-0 lead but trailed 7-5 after the fifth inning. However, the Kingfish came back to score single runs in the sixth, eight and ninth innings for the win. Saturday's Northwoods League Position Player of the Night Jack Yalowitz (University of Illinois) had the game-tying hit in the eighth, and Marty Bechina (Michigan State) had a single that put Kenosha in the lead in the ninth. Mac Caples (Virginia Tech) and Steve Passatempo (UMass Lowell) both homered for the Woodchucks in the loss.

Willmar 10, Thunder Bay 6

The Willmar Stingers led from start to finish on Friday night in a 10-6 victory over the Thunder Bay Border Cats, who recorded their first win of the season last night over the Stingers. Willmar starter Blake Stockert (North Dakota State) earned the victory with five innings pitched. He allowed one run on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts for the Stingers. Willmar left fielder Cole Gray (Midland) hit 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, and shortstop Brandon Perez (Southern California) finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

St. Cloud 6, Mankato 5

The St. Cloud Rox defeated the Mankato MoonDogs 6-5 in a rain-shortened game on the road on Friday. St. Cloud rallied for a six-run fourth inning, which was the deciding factor in the game. Ricky Ramirez (McNeese State) belted a grand slam over the right-field wall in part of a seven-hit inning for the Rox. St. Cloud starter Matt Shannon (Angelo State) earned the victory in five innings of work and allowed just two unearned runs on the day. The game was called final in the seventh inning following a second rain delay.

Saturday's Schedule

Rockford @ Battle Creek (6:05 PM)

Duluth @ St. Cloud (6:05 PM)

Wisconsin Rapids @ Kalamazoo (6:05 PM)

Kenosha @ La Crosse (6:05 PM)

Green Bay @ Madison (6:35 PM)

Mankato @ Eau Claire (6:35 PM)

Wisconsin @ Lakeshore (6:35 PM)

Thunder Bay @ Waterloo (6:35 PM)

Willmar @ Rochester (7:05 PM)