THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO – Shane McGuire (San Diego) and Harrison Freed (Butler) drove in five of the Loggers eight runs on Monday night en route to an 8-1 road victory over the host Thunder Bay Border Cats in the first of a four-game set at Port Arthur Stadium.
La Crosse drew first blood in this one when lead-off man Braiden Ward (Washington) was plunked with the very first pitch of the game. He promptly stole second base which drew an error on the Thunder Bay first baseman which allowed him to score all the way from first to give the Loggers an early 1-o lead.
The score would stay that way until the fourth when the Cats would push one across against Loggers starter Lalo Porras (Lewis-Clark) to tie the game at one apiece. But that’s all the offense Thunder Bay would muster as Porras went on to toss five solid innings of one-run baseball while striking out three. Porras would leave with the lead as the Lumbermen score one run after Jarron Silva (UCLA) came around to score on an RBI sacrifice fly from Freed after he led off the inning with a single.
The Lumbermen would break the game open in the sixth. After loading the bases with one one out, Armani Smith (UCSB) would come in to score on a wild pitch before McGuire would drive in two with a single and Freed another with a RBI single as well to give the Loggers a 6-1 cushion.
Stephen Knapp (Bellevue) would relieve Porras and go on to toss four scoreless inning to earn a four-inning save, allowing only one hit while striking out two as the Loggers would add insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the 8-1 victory.
The same two teams will do battle again on Tuesday night at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. (Central). Air time on the Logger Radio Network will be at 5:30 p.m. with John Pappadapolous and Billy Parvatam.