KENOSHA, Wis. – The Kenosha Kingfish (11-6) defeated the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders 5-4 with a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday night at Historic Simmons Field.
The Kingfish got the scoring going in the bottom of the second thanks to third baseman Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist), whose first hit of the summer proved to be a big one as he launched a solo home run to deep left field and put Kenosha on the board 1-0 early. The Dock Spiders answered right back, however, with leadoff hitter A.J. Lewis hitting a line drive homer to left in the very next inning to tie it at one apiece.
Fond du Lac scored once more in the fourth to take the lead and later extended that lead in the top of the seventh, as they finally began to hit Kingfish starter George Faue hard. The Dock Spiders strung together three straight hits to start the inning, two of which eventually came around to score, giving them a 4-1 advantage.
With Dock Spiders starter Tristan Baker’s most comfortable lead of the night came his weakest inning on the mound, however, as he gave up back-to-back one-out hits, the second of which was an RBI single by left fielder Chris Botsoe (Iowa Western CC) to score shortstop Ben Troike (Illinois) and cut the deficit to 4-2. Reliever Mike Pascoe (San Jacinto) then entered the game and immediately struggled, surrendering three walks and one hit-by-pitch while retiring just one batter. By the time the Kingfish offense was finished in the seventh, they’d sent nine men to the plate and tied the game back up at 4-4.
Both bullpens had to pitch out of tight jams after that until the Kingfish took matters into their own hands in the bottom of the ninth. Right fielder Jack Yalowitz (Illinois) walked with one out, and catcher Nick Zouras (Illinois State) sent him home one batter later when he crushed a game-winning double to right-center field to walk the Kingfish off.
Zouras’ game-winner was his only hit of the night, but he also walked and was hit by a pitch to total three times on base for the evening. First baseman Derek Bangert (Bradley) reached twice on a walk and a hit-by-pitch while driving in one, and Millard walked twice after his homer to finish with three times on base.
Faue allowed four runs in a season-high seven innings pitched, giving up seven hits and striking out five while walking none. Right-hander Christian Bokich (Lee University) earned the win with two shutout innings of relief.
The Kingfish will go back on the road on Friday when they go for the sweep of the Dock Spiders in Fond du Lac. They’ll return home for a 7:05p.m. start time on Tuesday against Lakeshore.
The Kenosha Kingfish are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, more than 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.kingfishbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Kingfish as your favorite team.