Loggers win 10-8 in battle for division lead!
La Crosse, WI – The La Crosse Loggers won in come-from-behind fashion on Sunday evening as they beat the Willmar Stingers by a score of 10-8 in front of 3,119 fans in a playoff atmosphere at Copeland Park.
The Loggers jumped out to a big lead in the first inning, scoring five runs and batting around in the opening frame. Braiden Ward (Washington) led off with a double to the left-center gap, quickly stealing third base and extending his single-season franchise record stolen base total to 31. Harrison Freed (Butler) then made history of his own with an RBI base hit up the middle, tying the Loggers single-season RBI record of 55 set by Michael Katz in 2013. Korey Lee (Cal) followed with a three-run home run to right field, his sixth of the season and third in five games, to extend the Loggers’ lead to 4-0. The fifth run of the inning came via an RBI single from Kyson Donahue (Arizona) that scored Grant Judkins (Iowa).
Willmar answered quickly with three runs in the top of the second inning after a two-out walk, three hits, and an error cut the Loggers’ lead to 5-3. Loggers’ starting pitcher Hunter Davis (Duke) battled through 4.0 innings, leaving with the lead after surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits. The Stingers, however, would tie the game in the fifth with two runs coming on just one hit, four costly walks, and a hit batter to make the score 5-5 after five. An RBI triple from Jaxon Hallmark gave the Stingers their first lead of the night, scoring six unanswered runs to gain a 6-5 advantage heading into the seventh inning stretch.
But the La Crosse offense rallied with two outs in the home half, leading to a game-tying RBI single up the middle from Korey Lee. A Donta Williams (Arizona) walk loaded the bases with two outs, setting the stage for arguably the biggest at-bat of the Loggers’ season to date. Pinch hitter Mike Rothenberg (Duke) came up big with a clutch two-strike base hit through the right side, scoring two runs to give La Crosse the 8-6 lead.
Harrison Freed added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth with his 12th home run of the season, a two-run blast high off the video board in left field to make it 10-6. Freed now sits alone atop the Loggers’ record book with 57 RBI on the season, with his biggest of the season being the difference in the Loggers’ 10-8 victory.
Korey Lee did it all on Sunday evening, entering the game to record the final two outs and his first save of the season after catching the first eight innings of the contest. The pennant race is in full force as the Loggers (21-10 second half) sit a half-game back of the division lead with six games remaining. La Crosse will host the St. Cloud Rox Monday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM on team picture night presented by Festival Foods.