WAUSAU, WI – The Dock Spiders (10-9) played their second doubleheader of the week on Sunday, traveling to Wausau and splitting their two games against the Wisconsin Woodchucks (5-14).
The first game of the doubleheader was a resumption of the second game of the season, the Woodchucks’ home opener back on July 2nd that was suspended due to rain. The game started from the top of the fourth inning with the Dock Spiders out in front 6-3. Sam Novitske (University of Oregon) gave Fondy the three-run lead after hitting a three-run home run back on the 2nd.
The Dock Spiders would continue to pour it on in the next inning, scoring five runs to go out to an 11-3 lead. Aaron Anderson (Liberty University), Andrew Bullock (Charleston Southern University), and Brayden Frazier (University of Iowa) would all reach to load the bases to start the top of the fifth. Ryan Ritter (University of Kentucky) sent a shot into the left-field corner that quickly unloaded the bases and made it 9-3.
Novitske and Parker Noland (Vanderbilt University) would draw walks to load the bases with two outs. Jack Alexander (Austin Peay) hit a ground ball to short, but a wild throw from Myles Austin (University of Alabama) allowed two more runs to come in to give the Dock Spiders the 11-3 lead.
The Woodchucks would plate a run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to draw within six in an 11-5 game.
Fond du Lac would add two final runs in the ninth, starting with a Novitske double to left and an opposite-field single for Noland to put runners at the corners. A passed ball would allow Novitske to score, and Tim Elk0 (University of Mississippi) would bring in Noland on a screaming line drive back up the middle to put up the 13th run for the Dock Spiders.
Wisconsin put up two runs on four hits in the bottom half to try and start a comeback, but Jake Brooks (UCLA) was able to fight back and get the *second game of the season* win 17 days after it began.
Jack Liffrig (University of Minnesota) received the win, his second of the year, after starting the game from the fourth inning. He worked two innings and struck out three batters and allowed just one run on two hits. Clay Brock (Central Michigan University) made his Dock Spiders debut and went two innings, while Brooks came in to finish the last two frames, throwing two strikeouts to secure the win.
The second game of the doubleheader was a much less offensive affair, another pitcher’s duel that would be played in only seven innings. Ryan Bergert (West Virginia University) started the game on the mound for Fondy, his fourth appearance of the season.
The Woodchucks got to Bergert immediately when Kyle Hess (University of Pittsburgh) belted a solo home run to right field to put Wisconsin on top in the first inning.
The Chucks were able to get another run in the third, and one more in the fifth to extend their lead and go up 3-0.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Dock Spiders’ offense got into gear; John Rhodes (University of Kentucky) blasted a line drive off the left-field fence for a double with one out. Taylor Jackson (University of Illinois) dropped a base hit into right field that brought in Rhodes and gave Fondy their first run of game two. Elko would reach on a walk, and Bullock would bloop a hit into right-center field that scored Jackson to make it a 3-2 game.
The one-run deficit turned into two runs after the Woodchucks scored a run in the bottom half of the sixth on a passed ball to go up 4-2 moving into the final frame.
The passed ball proved to be very costly, as Tate Kolwyck (Vanderbilt University) would lead off the top of the seventh with a missile into right field, his first home run of the season to bring the Dock Spiders back within one. Fond du Lac couldn’t roll with the momentum and saw their comeback attempt fall short in the 4-3 loss.
Bergert was dealt his first loss of the season, falling to 1-1 on the year. In his five innings on the mound, Bergert struck out five batters. Bergert and Theo Denlinger (Bradley University) were the only two arms to work for Fond du Lac in game two of the doubleheader. The one run that came in to score against Denlinger was unearned.
The Dock Spiders will host the Woodchucks at Herr-Baker Field at Marian University tonight at 6:35 pm before the league-wide off day on Tuesday.
The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.dockspiders.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Dock Spiders as your favorite team.