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Published On: June 23rd, 2018



La Crosse, Wis. The La Crosse Loggers lost a tough one 5-4 on Friday night, splitting their two game series with the St. Cloud Rox. It was another beautiful night at Copeland Park and Event Center, with 2,669 faithful fans in attendance on the second official night of summer.

Newly arrived Braiden Ward (Washington) led off the Loggers’ half of the first with a base hit up the middle, promptly stealing second on the very next pitch. After a Donta Williams (Arizona) single, the speedy outfielders would manufacture the Loggers’ first run on a stolen base by Williams and an error by the shortstop allowing Ward to scurry home. Shane McGuire (San Diego) plated Williams for the second run of the night on a line drive RBI single to right field.

St. Cloud answered back with a pair of runs in the third inning highlighted by an RBI double by Ryan Davis and RBI single from Ryland Kerr to tie the game 2-2. La Crosse escaped the potential big inning thanks to an outfield assist from Williams in centerfield, firing a perfect throw to cut down the runner advancing to third base.

The Lumbermen answered quickly to regain the lead in their half of the third, beginning with an identical start from leadoff man Braiden Ward. The freshman left-handed swinger singled up the middle and swiped his second stolen base of the night, coming around to score on an RBI single to left-center from Korey Lee (California). La Crosse tacked on a fourth run in the sixth, coming on a sacrifice fly from Steve Mann (Duke) that scored Williams from third.

Loggers’ starting pitcher Christian Roa (Texas A&M) was outstanding on Friday night, striking out eight over 6.0 strong innings and leaving with a 4-2 lead. The Loggers were led offensively by Ward (2-for-4) and Williams (3-for-4), each with a pair of runs and a pair of stolen bases at the top of the La Crosse lineup.

St. Cloud did not go away easily, however, scoring two unearned runs in the eighth inning to tie the game off of reliever Colton Larkins (Oral Roberts). The Rox completed the late comeback in part to two Loggers errors allowing runners to advance in the inning. With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth, the Rox received a go-ahead RBI single with two outs from Ryan Weisenburg, handing Loggers’ reliever Eric Mock (Penn State) the loss. St. Cloud’s Finn Del Bonta-Smith slammed the door shut in the final two innings, striking out four and earning the 5-4 victory.

La Crosse (11-12) will be in action at the Lumberyard again tomorrow night as they begin a two game set with the Bismarck Larks (15-9). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM CT, with the first 500 fans through the gate receiving a paper airplane and chance to win $200 in the post-game Paper Airplane Challenge presented by La Crosse Regional Airport.

Box Score

The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Loggers as your favorite team.