LA CROSSE, WIS – The Loggers won a wild one 8-7 over the Mankato MoonDogs in extra innings on Thursday night in front of 2,571 fans at Copeland Park and Event Center.
The Lumbermen opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a two-out RBI double to the opposite field from cleanup hitter Mike Rothenberg (Duke) that plated Braiden Ward (Washington) who reached on a lead off single. Mankato took the lead in the top of the third frame, scoring twice on a pair of hits off of starter Christian Roa (Texas A&M). The Loggers responded with a big inning in the bottom half of the third, scoring four runs on five hits to regain a 5-2 lead. Ward led off again with a base hit, stealing second base and coming around to score on an RBI single from Shane McGuire (San Diego). After a Harrison Freed (Butler) single put runners on the corners, Mike Rothenberg collected his second RBI of the night on a sacrifice fly that scored McGuire. Jordan Holladay (South Carolina) followed with a double to right field, advancing Freed to third with one out in the inning. Korey Lee made a productive second out with a ground ball to first base, picking up an RBI as Freed came home to score. Armani Smith (UC-Santa Barbara) kept the rally going with an RBI single to right-center that scored Holladay from third.
The Loggers would push across two more in the fourth inning, started with an infield single from Ward. After a Shane McGuire single and double steal to put runners at second and third, Ward scurried home on an RBI ground out back to the pitcher from Freed. Rothenberg collected his third RBI of the night on an infield single up the middle. Rothenberg finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI, while Ward went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.
The Loggers received a quality start from pitcher Christian Roa, who left with a 7-3 lead after 6.0 strong innings, striking out six. The MoonDogs would not go down easy though, scoring twice in the seventh and twice more in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 7. Mankato was down to its final strike before back-to-back doubles tied the game, forcing extra innings where Donta Williams (Arizona) would steal the show for the Loggers. Entering as a pinch hitter late in the game, Williams walked it off in the tenth inning with an RBI single up the middle scoring the winning run.
La Crosse will look to take a second game from Mankato on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 on Jimmy Buffet night at the Lumberyard presented by Landshark.