THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, CANANDA – For the second straight night the Loggers and Thunder Bay Border Cats provided bonus baseball north of the border, but it was the visiting Loggers who came out victorious on Friday night by a final of 9-6 in front of 1,049 fans at Port Arthur Stadium.
Both teams traded blows in the third inning when the Loggers scored two runs in their half via wild pitch that allowed Kennie Taylor (Duke) an opportunity to score the first run followed up by an RBI single off the bat of Jeremy Ydens (UCLA). The Cats answered back with two of their own off of Loggers' starter Hunter Davis (Duke) to tie the score at two.
La Crosse would take the lead then in the fourth on an RBI single from Taylor and add two more in the fifth via a two-out RBI double from Ryan Mantle (Creighton) to take a 5-2 lead. But Thunder Bay would continue to chip away plating a run in the fifth and another in the sixth off of Davis who ended up tossing a season-high six innings, allowing four runs on five hits, walking three, and striking out six.
Andrew Owen (Villanova) would come on to relieve Davis and keep the Cats at bay with a pair of shutout innings before turning over a two-run lead to Grant Ford (Nevada) in the ninth. But after back-to-back walks, Ford would commit a two-base error that allowed both runners to score and tie the game at six. Ford would go on to get out of the inning to push the game to extras for the second straight night.
The Lumbermen wasted little time in the tenth when Taylor reached base with a one-out single, followed by a Jorge Guttierrez (Texas A&M) walk that brought David Villar (South Florida) who drove in Taylor with a RBI single. One batter later Jake Hirabayashi (UCLA) lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Guttierrez and then Ydens doubled home Villar to give the Loggers a 9-6 advantage that Ford would secure in the bottom of the tenth.
With the win, the Loggers improve to 10-13 in the second half of the season and now return home to host the Rochester Honkers on Saturday night. Gates open at 5 p.m. for Kwik Trip's Salute to the Special Olympics featuring a post-game Fireworks Extravaganza. The first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.