LA CROSSE, WIS – The La Crosse Loggers won 9-4 on Saturday evening against the Thunder Bay Border Cats in front of a season-high 4,767 Copeland Crazies on Gundersen Health System Employee Celebration Day at the Lumberyard.
The Border Cats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first on a solo home run from Brady Gulakowski off of La Crosse starter Ted Stuka (UC-San Diego). The Loggers answered quickly as Braiden Ward (Washington) hit his second first-inning home run in three days, this time a solo blast over the right field fence to tie the game at one.
Thunder Bay would score one in the fourth before the Loggers pushed across four big runs in the bottom of the fifth frame. Shane McGuire (San Diego) reached on an error by the third basemen that scored Steve Mann (Duke) from third and Ward came flying around from second to give the Loggers their first lead of the night. Harrison Freed (Butler) followed with a mammoth shot to left field, a two-run long ball and his 11th of the season, placing him into a tie for the Northwoods lead.
The clubs would trade a run in the sixth, as a Thunder Bay home run and an RBI infield single from Loggers’ Nick Lewis (South Alabama) made the score 6-3. The Lumbermen would tack on three insurance runs in the seventh on an RBI single from Korey Lee (Cal), RBI double from Armani Smith (UC-Santa Barbara), and an RBI base hit from Steve Mann (Duke). Loggers’ starter Ted Stuka battled his way to a quality start, going 6.0 innings allowing three runs and striking out five. Jon Meyerring (Miami-OH) picked up the 3.0 inning save, allowing one run and striking out four to close out the 9-4 victory.
Every member of the Loggers’ starting lineup recorded a hit Saturday night, led by multi-hit games from Ward, Freed, and Lee. The same two teams will be back in action Sunday evening with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 PM and gates opening at 2:30 for a special Guns ‘n Hoses softball game at 3:00 PM.