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Three pods start play Wednesday night

Wednesday night was the first full night of the season for the Northwoods League, as the Minnesota-Iowa pod, the Wisconsin pod and the Michigan pod all got underway.

Michigan Pod
Kalamazoo Growlers 7, Kalamazoo Mac Daddies 2
The Growlers started the season on the right foot, as they picked up a 7-2 win on opening day over the debuting Mac Daddies. Trent Quartermaine (Ball State) led the Growlers offense, going 2-4 with two RBI. Brett Barrera (Stanford) was 2-4 with a run scored and one RBI. Blake Dunn (Western Michigan) went 1-4, but the one run was a solo home run in the top of the first inning. The Growlers used eight pitchers, with Adam Wheaton (Trine University) getting the start and lasting two innings, allowing one earned run and allowing three hits. He was the only pitcher to last more than one inning for the Growlers.

Traverse City Pit Spitters 6, Great Lakes Resorters 2
The defending Northwoods League champion Pit Spitters started the 2020 season right where they left off during the 2019 season, in the win column. They took home a 6-2 opening day win over the Great Lakes Resorters. Mario Camilletti (Central Michigan) had the big bat for the Pit Spitters, as he was 2-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. Brexton Bragg (Nebraska) picked up the win, throwing two scoreless innings in relief, allowing one walk but no hits. He came on in relief of Andrew Hoffman (Illinois), who threw two innings, allowing two runs and recording four strikeouts.

Wisconsin Pod
La Crosse Loggers 1, Rockford Rivets 0
There wasn’t a lot of offense for either team, as the Loggers only managed three hits while Rockford had just one hit. For La Crosse, Austin Murr (North Carolina State), Kyson Donahue (Arizona) and JT Thompson (Texas State) all recorded hits while Ryan Hampe (Illinois) had the lone Rivets hit. It was a tie game heading into the top of the ninth when Thompson hit an RBI double to score Donahue. While the offense never showed up, the pitching was in top form, led by Tony Roca (North Florida) of La Crosse, who threw four innings, allowing just one hit while recording three strikeouts.

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 10, Green Bay Booyah 5

The Rafters scored seven runs in the final two innings to blow past the Booyah on Wednesday night, led by Jake Dunham (Northern Illinois), who went 2-4 with four runs scored and a sixth-inning home run. Ryan Walstad (Sacramento State) went 2-4 at the plate with a double, a triple and a team-high three runs batted in. Travis Adams (Sacramento State) got the start on the mound for the Rafters and threw three scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while recording four strikeouts. Chris Mcelvain (Vanderbilt) threw one scoreless inning in relief to pick up the win. Grant Emme (Eastern Illinois) led the Booyah, going 1-5 at the plate with a home run and three RBI.

Fond du Lac Dock Spiders 2, Wisconsin Woodchucks 1
The Woodchucks started to rally in the top of the ninth, but the Dock Spiders were able to hold onto a narrow lead, taking home a 2-1 win for their home opener. The Dock Spiders only recorded three hits, with Aaron Anderson (Liberty), Parker Knowland (Vanderbilt) and Tate Kolwyck (Vanderbilt) all getting hits. The pitching was outstanding, led by Cameron Jones (Georgia State), who threw two and one-third innings in relief, allowing no runs and no hits while recording three strikeouts. His performance was upstaged by Trace Hoffman (Iowa), who threw two innings, allowing one hit but recording six strikeouts.

Minnesota-Iowa Pod
Waterloo Bucks 9, Mankato Moondogs 3
The Bucks picked up a road win on Wednesday night, scoring three runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to take home a 9-3 win over the Moondogs. There was no shortage of offense for the Bucks, as Charley Hesse (North Dakota State) went 2-3 with a double and three RBI, while Levi Usher (Louisville) went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Jalen Smith (California-Davis) went 1-3 with two RBI. Xane Washington (Nicholls State) also went 2-3 at the plate, with two walks and two runs scored as well. Carter Lyles (West Virginia) picked up the win, throwing one scoreless relief inning, allowing two hits and recording one strikeout in his first action of the season. Evan Berkey (California State-Bakersfield) led the Moondogs offense, going 2-5 with two RBI on the game.

Willmar Stingers 3, St. Cloud Rox 2
The Rox came up just short of pulling off a late rally, as they fell to the Stingers 3-2 on opening night in Willmar. The Stingers were led by Kyle Manzardo (Washington State), who went 2-3 at the plate, with a double, a home run and an RBI. Chase Stanke (Minnesota) went 2-4 at the plate, with two RBI. John Bezdicek (Southwest Minnesota State) turned in a quality start for Willmar, lasting six innings, allowing one run on two hits while recording a pair of strikeouts.

Thursday, July 2 schedule
La Crosse Loggers at Rockford Rivets 6:05 p.m.
Green Bay Booyah at Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 6:35 p.m.
Fond du Lac Dock Spiders at Wisconsin Woodchucks 6:35 p.m.
Willmar Stingers at Waterloo Bucks 6:35 p.m.
Kalamazoo Growlers at Battle Creek Bombers 6:35 p.m. ET/5:35 p.m. CT
Traverse City Pit Spitters at Northern Michigan Dune Bears 7:05 p.m. ET/6:05 p.m. CT
Rochester Honkers at St. Cloud Rox 7:05 p.m.
Mandan Flickertails at Bismarck Bull Moose 7:05 p.m.