Tight Division Races Continue as First Half End Nears

On the eve of the Northwoods League season's final day of the first half, both divisions still have the top spot up for grabs. In the North, Eau Claire holds a half-game lead over St. Cloud, and Madison trails Wisconsin Rapids by one game in the South with just one day left in the first half.

Rockford 12, St. Cloud 3

The Rockford Rivets scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 12-3 blowout victory over the St. Cloud Rox on Monday at home. Rockford took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning from a bases-loaded double hit by Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech) that plated three runs. St. Cloud scored a run in the top of the top of the sixth before the Rivets scored three more in the bottom half of the inning, including a solo home run from Hunter Steinmetz (Missouri State). Rockford sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and scored six runs to extend its lead to 12-1 to put the game out of reach.

Willmar 16, Duluth 12

The Willmar Stingers outslugged the Duluth Huskies with a nine-run seventh inning 16-12 on the road Monday. Duluth held a 9-4 advantage going into the sevent before the Stingers completed their big inning. Willmar sent 15 batters to the plate and scored nine runs on seven hits and were aided by three Duluth errors to take a 13-9 lead. The Stingers scored three more in the eighth to extend the deficit to seven before Duluth scored three in the bottom of the ninth. Willmar outhit Duluth 17-15 in the game, and Kole Cottam (Kentucky) hit 3-for-5 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored and his first home run of the season.

Battle Creek 4, Wisconsin Rapids 1

The Battle Creek Bombers jumped out to a 4-0 lead and defeated the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 4-1 at home. Battle Creek scored the first run of the game on a RBI single from Ryan Dorow (Adrian College) in the bottom of the fourth before rallying for three in the sixth for a four-run deficit. Wisconsin Rapids scored its lone run in the top of the seventh and was not able to get much going against Battle Creek starter Tommy Parsons (Adrian College). He earned the victory by throwing six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

Kenosha 8, Green Bay 4

The Kenosha Kingfish scored six unanswered runs from the seventh to the ninth inning to defeat the Green Bay Bullfrogs 8-4 on the road. Kenosha scored a run in the first and another in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. Green Bay tied the game in the bottom of the fourth and added one in the fifth to take a 3-2 advantage. The Kingfish scored two in each of the the seventh, eighth and ninth innings take the lead and make it an 8-3 game before the Bullfrogs scored one in the bottom half of the ninth. Leftfielder Cal Jadacki (St. Josephs University) hit 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for the Kingfish.

Mankato 5, Thunder Bay 0

The Mankato MoonDogs shut out the Thunder Bay Border Cats by a score of 5-0 at home on Monday. Mankato scored two in the first inning, followed by a three-run frame in the second, highlighted by a two-run homer from Jordan Washam (La Tech) for the final score of the game. Washam finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. MoonDogs' starting pitcher Robby Evans (Wichita St.) improved to 2-0 on the season with seven scoreless innings on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Lakeshore 5, Kalamazoo 2

The Lakeshore Chinooks used a three-run fourth inning to defeat the Kalamazoo Growlers 5-2 on Monday night on the road. Lakeshore starter Cole Gnetz (Miami-Ohio) threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts for the win. Kalamazoo starter BJ Butler (Ball State) pitched a solid game as well but picked up the loss. He threw seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Chinooks' rightfielder Darius Sewell (Georgia State) hit 1-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch, three RBI, two runs scored and hit a three-run homer in the third.

Eau Claire 16, La Crosse 6

The Eau Claire Express got out to a big lead over the La Crosse Loggers and put the game away with an eight-run fifth inning in a 16-6 home victory. La Crosse got on the board with two runs in the top of the first before the Express scored three in the bottom half of the inning and added one in the second. Eau Claire scored three in the fourth, followed by an eight-run fifth in which the Express sent 12 batters to the plate and recorded eight hits to extend their lead to 15-3 after five innings. Eau Claire leftfielder Zach Ashford (Fresno State) finished 4-for-5 with a walk, four runs scored and two RBI.

Madison 4, Wisconsin 3

After losing the lead in the eighth, the Madison Mallards broke a 3-3 tie in the ninth to defeat the Wisconsin Woodchucks 4-3 on Monday. Madison held a 3-1 lead after seven innings, but the Woodchucks rallied for a pair of runs to tie the game at three. With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Mallards' Matt McCann (Fairleigh Dickinson) singled to score Bryce Carter (Stanford) from third base. Madison starter Mitchell Kilkenny (Texas A&M) picked up the no decision and threw six innings and allowed one run (none earned) on two its and no walks with 11 strikeouts.

Waterloo 8, Rochester 4

The Waterloo Bucks doubled up the Rochester Honkers by a score of 8-4 on Monday night at home. Rochester and Waterloo each scored two runs in the first inning, and the Honkers scored once in the top of the second, while the Bucks scored two to take a 4-3 lead. Waterloo added two more in the third and two in the seventh before Rochester added the final run of the game in the ninth. Waterloo starter Jordan Accetta (Wofford) pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts to pick up the win.

Tuesday's Schedule

St. Cloud @ Rockford (6:35 PM)

Madison @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM)

Willmar @ Duluth (6:35 PM)

Thunder Bay @ Mankato (7:05 PM)

Waterloo @ Rochester (7:05 PM)

Lakeshore @ Kalamazoo (7:05 PM)

Kenosha @ Green Bay (7:05 PM)

Wisconsin Rapids @ Battle Creek (7:05 PM)

Eau Claire @ La Crosse (7:05 PM)