Express, Rafters Clinch Playoff Berth
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters and Eau Claire Express won their games on Tuesday's final day of the first half of the Northwoods League season to place first in their respective divisions and clinch a playoff berth. The game between Rochester and Waterloo was suspended in the top of the fifth inning and will be finished to nine innings on July 13 at 6:05 p.m., followed by a seven-inning second game. The game between Mankato and Thunder Bay was suspended in the third inning and will be completed to nine innings on Aug. 13 at 5:05 p.m., followed by a seven-inning game.
Kalamazoo 7, Lakeshore 2
The Kalamazoo Growlers scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the second to defeat the Lakeshore Chinooks 7-2 at home on Tuesday night. Lakeshore scored one in the top of the first before Kalamazoo rallied for three in the first and second to take a 6-1 advantage. Growlers' third baseman Matt Lloyd (Iowa Western) hit 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Kalamazoo starter Grant Wolfram (Central Michigan) earned the victory in five innings of work and allowed two runs (none earned) on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Wisconsin Rapids 1, Battle Creek 0
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters scored a run in the top of the first inning, which was the final score of the game as they defeated the Battle Creek Bombers 1-0 on Tuesday. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the first, Logan Mattix (Georgia College) grounded into a double play to score the lone run of the game. Wisconsin Rapids starter Damien Richard (Xavier) threw five scoreless inning on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts for the win. Battle Creek pitcher Nigel Ward (Cal Poly) pitched a solid game in the loss. He allowed just one run over seven innings, but it was not enough, as Wisconsin Rapids clinched a playoff berth for the first time in team history.
Madison 4, Wisconsin 2
The Madison Mallards doubled up the Wisconsin Woodchucks by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday night on the road. Madison scored two in the top of the third, and Wisconsin added one in the bottom half of the inning. Mallards' rightfielder Zach Jarrett (UNC-Charlotte) hit a two-run home run with two outs in the seventh, and Woodchucks' Steele Walker (University of Oklahoma) hit a solo homer in the eighth for the final scoring play of the game. Madison starter Heath Renz (UW-Whitewater) threw five innings and allowed one run (zero earned) on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
St. Cloud 10, Rockford 4
The St. Cloud Rox took advantage of four Rockford Rivets' errors and scored six unanswered runs in a 10-4 win on the road Tuesday night. St. Cloud and Rockford each recorded nine hits, but it was Rockford's defensive struggle that was the difference. St. Cloud designated hitter Webb Bobo (Southeastern Louisiana) had a big day, as he hit 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk, three runs and two RBI including a home run. Rox starter Austin Dubsky (Murray State) threw six inning and allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits and five hits with six strikeouts for the win.
Willmar 9, Duluth 4
The Willmar Stingers scored four runs in the top of the fourth and never trailed in a 9-4 victory over the Duluth Huskies. Willmar starter Jonny Ortiz (Nova Southeastern) threw a complete game and allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts for the win. Both teams finished with nine hits, and the Stingers scored six unearned runs in the game on four Duluth errors. Willmar third baseman Brandon Perez (Southern California) hit 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Willmar and Duluth both finished the first half with an 18-18 record.
Green Bay 10, Kenosha 4
The Green Bay Bullfrogs finished the first half of the season on a high note with a 10-4 home win over the Kenosha Kingfish. Kenosha scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but that was its lone lead of the game, as the Bullfrogs scored two in the second and three in the third. Green Bay recorded 11 hits in the game, including home runs by Austin Clemons (University of Louisville) and Hill Alexander (Midland College). Matt Ellenbest (Morehead State University) earned the win for Green Bay and allowed four runs on 10 hits and a walk with two strikeouts in six innings of work.
Eau Claire 8, La Crosse 3
The Eau Claire Express led from start to finish and defeated the La Crosse Loggers 8-3 on Tuesday night to clinch a playoff berth. The game underwent a lengthy weather delay, and the Express would have made the playoffs had the game not been completed, but a loss would have given St. Cloud the bid. Eau Claire starting pitcher Austin Schulfer (Milwaukee) picked up a no decision and allowed one run over five innings of work on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts. Express centerfielder Ben Mezzenga (Minnesota) hit 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored.
Waterloo @ Duluth (6:35 PM)
Wisconsin @ Lakeshore (6:35 PM)
Green Bay @ Rockford (6:35 PM)
Eau Claire @ St. Cloud (7:05 PM)
Rochester @ Willmar (7:05 PM)
Kenosha @ Wisconsin Rapids (7:05 PM)
Thunder Bay @ La Crosse (7:05 PM)
Mankato @ Kalamazoo (7:05 PM)
Battle Creek @ Madison (7:05 PM)