ROCHESTER, MN – The La Crosse Loggers started the second half of the 2018 NWL season with a bang on Thursday night by sweeping the Rochester Honkers by scores of 7-6 and 6-1 at Mayo Field in Rochester.
The two clubs picked up a suspended game that was scoreless from the night before in the second inning. The game remained scoreless until the fourth when Mike Rothenberg (Duke) hit a one-out solo home run and then the Loggers added two more that inning on a two-RBI single off the bat of second baseman Bryce Blaum (Texas A & M) to give La Crosse a 3-0 lead.
But Rochester answered right back with two runs in the fifth off of Loggers pitcher Jon Meyerring (Miami-OH), who took the ball in the second inning when the game resumed.
A Nick Lewis (South Alabama) RBI single in the bottom of the fifth would put the Loggers up 4-2 but Rochester continued to push as they would score once in the sixth and three more times in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead.
La Crosse found a way to create a rally in the eighth however. After two men reached base, Braiden Ward (Washington) layed down a perfect sacrifice bunt and his speed forced an errant throw to allow one run to score and put runners at second and third. Shane McGuire then followed with a sacrifice fly to knot the score at at six before Harrison Freed (Butler) delivered a two-out RBI double to give the Loggers a 7-6 lead and Stephen Knapp (Bellevue) retired the side in order to secure the game one victory.
Game 2 ….
There was not as much suspense in the second game, a seven-inning affair, as it was all Loggers throughout.
A Rothenberg RBI sacrifice fly in the first scored McGuire to give the Loggers an early 1-0 edge, but Rochester quickly answered with one run in the bottom of the first.
After that, Loggers started Eric Mock (Penn State) settled in and quieted the Honkers bats as he would go on to toss five inning of one-run baseball and strike out 10 batters to earn the victory in his first start of the summer.
The Lumbermen would bust the game open in the third. After a Harrison Freed RBI sac fly put La Crosse up by a run, Steve Mann (Duke) would come up three batters later with two men on and blast a home run way over the left field wall to give the Loggers a 5-1 lead. Kyson Donahue (Arizona) would follow with a single and then advance to second on an error before Jarron Silva (UCLA) would single him home to push the lead to 6-1, a lead that would stand for the remainder of the game.
Colton Larkins (Oral Roberts) would come on to toss the final two, scoreless innings to secure the victory.
The Loggers will now return home to host the Eau Claire Express in the first of a two-game set at Copeland Park on Friday night. Gates open at 6 p.m. for a Friday Night Fish Fry and Happy Hour with Howie’s on La Crosse before the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. A fireworks extravaganza will follow the ballgame, presented by Edward’s Mini-Storage.
Box Score Game 1
Box Score Game 2