Fondy Wins a “Wild” One for Fifth Straight Victory
FOND DU LAC, WI – Following a blown lead in the ninth, the Dock Spiders (18-12) managed to make a comeback while down to their final out and walk it off on a wild pitch to beat the La Crosse Loggers (14-16) in extra innings on Friday night.
The Dock Spiders came into Friday’s matchup looking to extend their win streak to five games and sweep the homestand, but the Loggers got out in front first, plating two runs to get an early lead.
Fond du Lac was able to bring in two in their half of the first to tie it at two apiece on a line-drive double from Aaron Anderson (Liberty University).
Another run would score for Fondy in the third after Ryan Ritter (University of Kentucky) dropped a bloop single to right to give the Dock Spiders a 3-2 lead.
Andrew McKenna (Santa Barbara City College) led off the sixth with a walk, stole third and came in to score after the throwdown went into left field to make it a 4-2 game.
The Loggers were held to without a run following the first up until the eighth where things got interesting. Ronnie Sweeny (University of Minnesota) skied a popup that dropped in front of first base, and Blake Klassen (University of Arizona) reached on a walk. Both would advance on a wild pitch, and both would score on a base hit to left to tie the game at four.
Tim Elko (University of Mississippi) came in clutch with a hit into right that scored two to break the 4-4 tie and put Fondy up 6-4 going to the ninth.
It looked as if the Dock Spiders were going to come away with the win, but another popup on the infield was dropped, followed by a wild throw into the third-base dugout that scored two runs and put the Loggers in front 7-6.
The tables were turned in the bottom half as Ritter scored from first after Jack Alexander (Austin Peay) sent a fly ball into right-center field that was, unbelievably, dropped to extend the ballgame.
The Loggers got their baserunner to third in the 10th but stranded him at third after Sam Novitske (University of Oregon) made a game-saving catch on a line drive up the middle.
The Dock Spiders had Novitske start at second, who advanced to third on a wild pitch. In a 2-0 count with two outs and Elko at the plate, a fastball up and in sailed to the backstop, allowing Novitske to come home and score to give the Dock Spiders their first walk-off win of the season and secure their fifth win in a row.
Only three of the seven runs came as earned runs for the Dock Spiders’ pitching staff, who held the Loggers to without a run for six innings following their two-run first. Grant Leonard (University of Iowa) and Ryan Duffy (University of Minnesota) both threw two and two-thirds innings and combined for four strikeouts and only two hits. Nate Thomas (Northern Illinois University) matched his single-game high in strikeouts with four in his inning and a third of work. Cameron Jones (Georgia State University) came in and pitched a scoreless tenth inning and received the win, improving to 2-0 on the year.
The Dock Spiders will travel to Green Bay on Saturday night to play their fourth game against the Booyah in the last week and try to make it six wins in a row. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm.
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.