The St. Cloud Rox punched their ticket to the 2016 Northwoods League Playoffs on Thursday night with their victory over the Thunder Bay Border Cats in the first game of the doubleheader. The game between Madison and Kenosha was postponed to Friday when there will be two seven-inning games beginning at 5 p.m. Also, the game between Waterloo and Eau Claire was postponed and will be made up as a doubleheader on Friday night starting at 5:35.
St. Cloud 6, Thunder Bay 3 – Game 1
The St. Cloud Rox earned their second playoff bid in franchise history with a 6-3 victory over Thunder Bay in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Thursday night. St. Cloud held a 3-1 advantage before the Rox rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead for good. The Rox were outhit 10-7 on the night, but they hit two home runs in the victory. Third baseman Denis Karas (Cal Berkeley) finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored, including a home run. Luke Ringhofer (South Dakota State) also homered for St. Cloud in a pinch-hit appearance in the sixth inning to make it a 6-3 game.
Thunder Bay 3, St. Cloud 2 – Game 2
The Thunder Bay Border Cats walked off in a 3-2 victory over the St. Cloud Rox in Game 2 of the doubleheader. The game was supposed to go just seven innings, but teams were tied at two after regulation. In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Border Cats had runners at the corners with two outs with Jordan Gillerman (St. Johns University) at the plate. He reached on an error to the shortstop, and Mike Bigras (Boston College) scored from third for the game-winning run to split the day's doubleheader.
Lakeshore 16, Wisconsin 6
The Lakeshore Chinooks scored seven runs in the fifth inning to beat the Wisconsin Woodchucks 16-6 on the road on Thursday night. The Chinooks recorded 14 hits in the victory, and all nine batters in the Lakeshore lineup finished with at least one hit. Catcher Hayden Senger (Miami-Ohio) hit 2-for-4 with four RBI, one run scored and a walk. Lakeshore first baseman Matt Johnson (South Dakota State) hit his eighth home run of the season, and centerfielder Zac Taylor (Houston) homered for the third time.
Wisconsin Rapids 11, Rockford 2
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters blew out the Rockford Rivets 11-2 on the road on Thursday night. Wisconsin Rapids outhit Rockford 12-7, and rightfielder Brett Thompson (Hope International) hit 3-for-4 with two runs, one run scored and a walk. Shortstop Richie Palacios (Towson) finished 2-for-5 at the plate with three RBI, two runs scored and one walk, while designated hitter Joe Wainhouse (Washington) hit 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored. Rafters' starter Gareth Stroh (Coffeyville CC) earned the victory and threw 6 2/3 innings, allowed two runs on six hits and zero walks with six strikeouts.
Willmar 8, Duluth 3
The Willmar Stingers beat the Duluth Huskies 8-3 at home on Thursday night. Willmar pounded out 17 hits, and seven batters finished with multiple hits. Rightfielder Justin Toerner (Cal State Northridge) hit 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBI and one walk. Stingers' second baseman finished 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and one run scored, and third baseman Brandon Perez (Southern California) hit 3-for-5 with two runs batted in. Willmar's Bradley Bailey (North Alabama) earned the win and threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on 11 hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
Green Bay 5, Kalamazoo 3
The Green Bay Bullfrogs scored the first five runs of the game and held on to beat the Kalamazoo Growlers 5-3 at home. Green Bay's third baseman Quincy Nieporte (Florida State) finished 2-for-4 with two runs and one run batted in. Bullfrogs' centerfielder Laren Eustace (Indiana University) hit 2-for-4, and shortstop Parker Cross (UC-Irvine) had one hit and scored two runs. Reliever Dominick Golubiewski (Madison College) earned the victory in four innings of relief.
Mankato 13, La Crosse 9
The Mankato MoonDogs scored four runs in the fifth innings and added six runs in the eighth to beat the La Crosse Loggers 13-9 at home on Thursday night. Mankato outhit La Crosse 13-12, and eight batters finished with at least one hit. First baseman Bryce Adams (LSU) hit 2-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored, and second baseman Drew Fearing (NDSU) hit 2-for-3 with two RBI, two runs scored and one walk. Mankato's starting pitcher Tyler Lesley (Incarnate Word) threw seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in the no decision.
Battle Creek 7, Rochester 5
The Battle Creek Bombers took down the Rochester Honkers 7-5 on the road on Thursday night. Battle Creek's second baseman Cody Sporrer (UC-Riverside) hit 3-for-5 at the plate. Bombers' leftfielder Daniel Jipping (Central Michigan) hit his 10th home run of the season, and designated hitter Nick Poirier (Michigan) connected on his first homer of the year. Battle Creek's starting pitcher Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee State) threw five innings and allowed two runs on three hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts in five innings of work to pick up the victory.
Kenosha @ Madison (5:00 PM) – Game 1
Kenosha @ Madison (7:05 PM) – Game 2
Eau Claire @ Waterloo (5:35 PM) – Game 1
Eau Claire @ Waterloo (7:05 PM) – Game 2
Wisconsin Rapids @ Rockford (6:35 PM)
La Crosse @ Mankato (7:05 PM)
Battle Creek @ Rochester (7:05 PM)
Lakeshore @ Wisconsin (7:05 PM)
St. Cloud @ Thunder Bay (7:05 PM)
Duluth @ Willmar (7:05 PM)
Kalamazoo @ Green Bay (7:05 PM)