Loggers Win 15-Inning Marathon

The La Crosse Loggers improved to 2-0 in the early 2014 Northwoods League season by beating the Wisconsin Woodchucks 3-2 in a 15-inning affair Wednesday night at Copeland Park.  

Loggers starter Brian Keller (UW- Milwaukee) set the tone for La Crosse by tossing seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned), and fanning five Woodchucks. 

The only earned run for the Woodchucks came in the fourth when shortstop Kyle Toth drove in right fielder C.J. Chatham with the bases loaded to give Wisconsin an early 1-0 lead.  Wisconsin would tack on the second of Keller's runs in the fifth, but the Loggers would get the bats going in the bottom of the inning.

Catcher Cody Foreman (College of the Albemarle) drew a leadoff walk, and made it to third when shortstop Sulliam Rios Reyes (Kirkwood CC) singled him in.  Rios Reyes struck again in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game up for the Lumbermen.  Foreman started the inning off with a leadoff single.  After an Aaron Knapp (California) bunt to advance Foreman, Rios Reyes drove him in, again with a single.

After the seventh the "0's" started to mount the scoreboard for both teams.  Bullpen's dominated the game as it headed into extras.  Notably, Robby Medel for the Woodchucks tossed 6 scoreless innings to save what was left of the Wisconsin bullpen.  La Crosse relievers Nick Milligan (Western Illinois), Breckin Williams (Missouri), and Jake Light (Illinois Central CC) tossed 8 combine scoreless innings.

The Woodchucks stopped a golden opportunity for the Loggers to strike in the bottom of the 11th.  After a leadoff from left fielder and Holmen native Taylor Kohlwey (UW- La Crosse), designated hitter Cameron Balough (Judson University) advanced him over on a bunt.  Two batters later, Knapp singled to center field.  Kohlwey attempted to score, but Woodchuck's center fielder Curtis Bussard threw a dart to home plate to gun him down and end the inning.

Finally in the bottom of the 15th the Loggers broke the ice.  Ryan Kirby (San Diego) had a great at- bat to draw the leadoff walk.  Next batter Jerrod Bravo (Sacramento City CC) hit a high chopper off the turf and over the first basemen's head into right field, and Kirby did a nifty job of baserunning to get into 3rd.  After an intentional walk by Wisconsin to load the bases, Woodchucks reliever Tim McElroy got Marc Frazier (Nicholls State) to hit a grounder to the first basemen Brendon Hayden who threw home to get the potential go- ahead run out.  But then McElroy became wild and threw a wild pitch to the next batter, Kohlwey, and Bravo came home to win the game for the Loggers.

The Loggers will take their perfect record to Madison on Thursday to start a two- game series with the Mallards at Warner Park.  First pitch is slated for 7:05.

Brian Keller pitches Wednesday night at Copeland Park.

La Crosse -