Mankato and Battle Creek both got shutouts to advance in the playoffs as the MoonDogs defeated the Express and the Bombers eliminated the Rivets. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters got back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the eighth which ended up being the difference maker. St. Cloud managed to defeat Willmar by nine to advance to the Divisional Championship. St. Cloud will travel to Mankato for the North Championship and Rapids will host the Bombers for a chance at the World Series to respresent the South.
Mankato 12, Eau Claire 0
The Mankato MoonDogs poured it on the Eau Claire Express all game as they advanced from a 12-0 victory. Daniel Amaral (UCLA) put the MoonDogs on the board right away as he opened the game with a leadoff home run. Mankato added another in the third from an RBI single. Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) then homered and drove in three in the fourth for the MoonDogs. Kenton Crews (Evansville) then drove in three from a home run of his own in the eighth. Three bases loaded walks and an RBI fielder’s choice tacked on four more in the ninth as Mankato went on to win the game.
Rockford 0, Battle Creek 2
The Battle Creek Bombers got two late in the game and defeated the Rockford Rivets 2-0 to move onto the Divisional Championship. Dakota Edwards (Cal State Stanislaus) threw a complete game shutout for the Bombers as he only allowed three hits on one walk while striking out seven. Chase Kueter (Dubuque) threw seven for Rockford and only allowed two runs, one earned on four hits while striking out five. The Bombers got their first from an RBI ground out by Storm Joop (Indianapolis) and one more from an error in the eighth which ended up being the final score.
Lakeshore 4, Wisconsin Rapids 6
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters got three late and defeated the Lakeshore Chinooks 6-4 to advance and play Battle Creek. The Chinooks got one in the top of the first from a sac flyout. Rapids then tied it in the second when Jake Guenther (Sacramento CC) singled in a run. Both teams managed to trade a pair of runs in the fourth to keep it tied. Lakeshore got an RBI double in the seventh to take the lead. Ryan Stekl (Canisius) then put the Rafters ahead with a two-run shot in the eighth and Dustin Woodcock (SIUE) followed with one of his own which proved to be enough to win.
Willmar 1, St. Cloud 9
The St. Cloud Rox got a pitching gem from Aaron Rozek (Minnesota State) as he threw seven and defeated the Willmar Stingers 9-1. St. Cloud got three right away in the bottom of the first when Matthew Tarantino (Pacific) singled in one as two more came from a fielder’s choice and another RBI single. The Rox got one in the second from an RBI ground out and then three more in the third from three RBI singles. Nolan Bumstead (CSUN) put the Stingers on the board when he led off the sixth with a homer, but the Rox got two more in the next inning. Bobby Gauvreau (Minnesota State) came in for two innings of relief and ended the game to advance St. Cloud.
Schedule for August 15:
St. Cloud @ Mankato (7:05 PM)
Battle Creek @ Wisconsin Rapids (7:05 PM)