There have been several big innings in 2016, but perhaps the biggest rally of the Northwoods League season came on Friday night in Thunder Bay. The Rochester Honkers went off for 12 runs in a close win over the Border Cats.
Madison 5, Kalamazoo 1 – Game 1
The Madison Mallards won the first game of the doubleheader 5-1 over the Kalamazoo Growlers on Friday night. Madison led from start to finish in the seven-inning contest for the home victory. The Mallards scored twice in the bottom of the first inning to take the early lead, and after the Growlers scored their lone run of the game in the top of the fifth, Madison answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning and added another insurance run in in the sixth to make it a 5-1 advantage. Madison outhit Kalamazoo 7-4 in the win.
Kalamazoo 4, Madison 1 – Game 2
The Kalamazoo Growlers earned a split of the doubleheader with a 4-1 road victory over the Madison Mallards in Game 2. Just like in the first game, Madison scored in the first inning and took a 1-0 advantage. Kalamazoo tied the game with a run in the top of the third inning, and the Growlers took a 4-1 lead with three runs in the fourth. Kalamazoo's starting pitcher Devin Pellien (Nova Southeastern) threw a seven-inning complete game and allowed just one run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts to pick up the win.
Mankato 3, Waterloo 2
The Mankato MoonDogs outhit the Waterloo Bucks 11-4 and came away with a 3-2 win at home on Friday night. Waterloo opened up a 2-0 lead with a double from Robert Neustrom (Iowa) in the top of the third inning, and the MoonDogs came back with a two-run fifth to tie the game. Mankato took a 3-2 lead with a RBI-single from Jake Shepski (Notre Dame), which wound up being the game-winning hit for the MoonDogs. Ricky Digrugilliers (Western Illinois) threw six innings and gave up two runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts to pick up the win.
Battle Creek 8, Kenosha 2
The Battle Creek scored three runs in the third and fourth innings and defeated the Kenosha Kingfish 8-2 at home on Friday night. Battle Creek had a big night at the plate, and all nine players in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Battle Creek's centerfielder Dean Miller (Riverside City College) hit 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, including his third home run of the season. Bombers' starter Malcolm Grady (Wabash Valley CC) earned the victory, and he threw six innings and allowed two runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
Duluth 6, Green Bay 4
The Duluth Huskies lost their lead and came back to defeat the Green Bay Bullfrogs 6-4 on Friday night. Duluth scored twice in the top of the first inning and trailed 4-2 after six innings. The Huskies scored once in the top of the seventh and rallied for three more in the eighth for the 6-4 advantage. Huskies Reid Long (Troy), Jake Pries (UCLA) and Dillon Paulson (Southern California) all homered in the Huskies' victory. Paulson hit 3-for-4 with a walk, one run scored and knocked in a run. For Green Bay, rightfielder Marcus Shoemaker (Lenoir Rhyne University) finished 4-for-4 at the plate in a loss.
Lakeshore 1, Wisconsin 0
The Lakeshore Chinooks took down the Wisconsin Woodchucks 1-0 on the road Friday night in an interesting game. Though there was just one run scored, teams combined for 22 hits throughout the game. Wisconsin finished with 12 hits and left 13 runners stranded on base. Lakeshore recorded 10 hits and stranded nine runners in the win. The lone run of the game came in the top of the eighth inning with a run-scoring single from Cody Ducote (LSU). Lakeshore's Marshall Kasowski (Houston) threw six scoreless innings and gave up eight hits and a walk with 12 strikeouts, while Wisconsin's starter Reggie Meyer (University of Minnesota) threw six scoreless innings and gave up seven hits and and a walk with five strikeouts. Both starters finished with no decisions.
Rochester 15, Thunder Bay 12
The Rochester Honkers erupted for 12 runs in the fourth inning and held on to defeat the Thunder Bay Border Cats 15-12 on the road Friday night. In one of the biggest offensive explosions of the 2016 Northwoods League season, Rochester sent 17 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth with eight hits and scored 12 runs to take a 15-5 lead. Thunder Bay outhit Rochester 17-13 and nearly came back from a 10-run deficit. Border Cats Shane Shepard (North Carolina State) and Joe Gellenbeck (Xavier University) homered, and Drew Ellis (Louisville) hit a home run for Rochester.
St. Cloud 4, Eau Claire 1
The St. Cloud Rox broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run eighth inning to defeat the Eau Claire Express 4-1 at home on Friday night. Eau Claire scored a run in the top of the fifth, and St. Cloud tied it with one in the seventh. St. Cloud rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth for the victory. The Rox had just five hits and recorded a pair of unearned runs on two Eau Claire errors. St. Cloud starter Shelby Lackey (University of the Pacific) threw six innings and allowed one run on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts and picked up a no decision.
La Crosse 7, Willmar 6
The La Crosse Loggers held a 7-2 advantage and held on to defeat the Willmar Stingers 7-6 on the road Friday night. La Crosse had a five-run lead until the bottom of the sixth when Willmar added three runs and scored another in the seventh to cut the lead to one. The Stingers put a base runner on in the eighth and ninth inning but were unable to score in the loss. Willmar outhit La Crosse 13-10 but committed four errors. The four Stinger errors added up to five unearned runs for the Loggers to aid their victory.
Wisconsin Rapids 15, Rockford 3
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters blew out the Rockford Rivets 15-3 on the road on Friday night. Wisconsin Rapids pounded out 19 hits in the win, and shortstop Jon Meola (Virginia) hit 4-for-5 with with two RBI and a run scored. Jake Lumley (Canisius) finished 2-for-6 with with four RBI and two runs scored with a grand slam for his fourth homer of the season. Patrick Cromwell (Clemson) hit 3-for-6 with a run scored and one RBI in the Rafters' victory.
Duluth @ St. Cloud (6:05 PM)
Wisconsin @ Kenosha (6:05 PM)
Eau Claire @ La Crosse (6:05 PM)
Madison @ Battle Creek (6:05 PM)
Wisconsin Rapids @ Thunder Bay (6:05 PM)
Kalamazoo @ Lakeshore (6:35 PM)
Green Bay @ Rockford (6:35 PM)
Mankato @ Waterloo (7:05 PM)
Rochester @ Willmar (7:05 PM)