FOND DU LAC, WI – The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (35-33, 16-18) are set to host the Lakeshore Chinooks (33-35, 15-17) in the series finale on Marty Paulsen Appreciation Night, a celebration of the 50-plus year career of the Fond du Lac High School baseball coach, who retired this past spring. The first 250 fans will also receive an Arañas de Muelle drawstring bag courtesy of Moraine Park Technical College. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:30 on the Northwoods League Baseball Network.
PATH TO THE PLAYOFFS: If the season ended today, the Dock Spiders would miss the playoffs… They sit one behind the Wausau Woodchucks with four games remaining… If the Dock Spiders and Woodchucks end the season tied, the Dock Spiders own the head-to-head tiebreaker… The elimination number for the Dock Spiders is four, meaning that any combination of Wausau wins and Fond du Lac losses that equal four would clinch a playoff spot for the Woodchucks… If the Dock Spiders make the playoffs, Fond du Lac will host game one at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday, Wisconsin Rapids would host game two on Monday at 6:35 p.m., and if necessary game three at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday.
WALKING IT OFF: On Wednesday night, the Dock Spiders tallied their third walk-off win of the year, a 7-6, extra-innings win over the Lakeshore Chinooks… OF Tyeler Hawkins was hit in the arm with the bases loaded to bring home the game-winning run in the 10th… Hawkins joined OF Evan Smith and C Bennett Thompson as the three Dock Spiders with a walk-off this year… Wednesday’s walk-off was the first since August 1 against Battle Creek, when the Dock Spiders scored 10 runs in the bottom of the ninth to come back from a nine-run deficit to win 12-11.
GETTING IT DONE: The five through nine spots in the Dock Spiders order combined for four hits on Wednesday night, including an RBI double from C Brady Katterhagen and a triple from OF Peter Fusek… Over the last two games, the bottom five spots have gone 8-36 (.222) and have tallied over half of the Dock Spiders total hits (17)… In the previous three games before the current stretch, they combined to go 3-47 (.064) at the plate.
HE JUST GETS ON BASE: With a first-inning walk on Wednesday night, OF Andrew Sojka reached base in his 26th consecutive game, the longest on-base streak by a Dock Spider this year… Sojka last failed to reach base on July 8 at Lakeshore, his third game with the Dock Spiders… He has reached base in 28 of 29 games played with the Dock Spiders, and has tallied a hit in 27 of 29… Sojka is on pace to set a new single-season franchise record in average (.391) and OPS (1.193)… He’s .002 points away from tying OF John Rhodes’ single-season record for on-base percentage (.495).
THE FIRST OF MANY: Former Dock Spiders 1B Tommy Stevenson, a 19th-round pick this year by the Oakland A’s, hit his first career home run on Wednesday with the Stockton Ports against the San Jose Giants. Stevenson was one of eight Dock Spiders selected in the 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft, which tied the franchise record.
TODAY’S STARTING PITCHING MATCH-UP
RHP JOSH CULLIVER (FDL) will become the first pitcher in franchise history to make 10 starts in a year since RHP Aaron Ball in 2019… Culliver struck out five over four no-hit innings in his last start on August 5 against Green Bay, part of a combined no-hit bid that went into the ninth inning.
RHP MITCH ALBA (LAK) will make his fourth start and 13th appearance of the season… Alba threw two shutout innings in his last appearance on Friday at Madison.