Kennedy, Holgate lead Loggers past Border Cats 4-3

LA CROSSE, Wis. — After a rocky first inning in which the visitors scored a pair of unearned runs, La Crosse Loggers pitcher Matt Kennedy settled down and fired a gem the rest of the way, allowing just four hits and striking out eight batters as the Loggers topped Thunder Bay 4-3 in front of 2,636 fans at Copeland Park on Friday night.

The Border Cats (14-24) scored their first inning runs on a  hit and a sacrifice fly after the second batter of the game reached base on a throwing error, but Kennedy (Saint Joseph’s) allowed just one more hit until the eighth inning to improve his record to 3-0 on the year.

The Loggers (19-20) scored a run on a bases loaded walk in the third inning, but the bats were kept quiet across the middle innings, as Thunder Bay pitcher Joe Moran scattered six hits across six innings pitched. The seventh-inning stretch got things rolling for La Crosse, as Cody Jefferis (San Diego) doubled and came around to score on an RBI single by JT Schwartz (UCLA), before Ryan Holgate (Arizona) drilled a pitch just inside the right field foul pole for his eighth home run of the season, giving the Loggers a 4-2 lead.

Kennedy ceded to left-hander Samuel Torsey (Viterbo) after recording one out in the eighth, and the Border Cats closed the gap to 4-3 on another unearned run, but Torsey got out of the inning thanks to a perfectly executed rundown by the Loggers defense at third base and a 5-3 putout by Tony Bullard (Arizona).

After collecting a hit and two walks as a second basemen, Jack Filby (UCLA) came on to earn the save for La Crosse, working around a leadoff single to secure the Loggers’ fourth win in the last five games.

Schwartz and Kyson Donahue (Arizona) each collected two hits for La Crosse, while the three RBI for Holgate increases his season total to 34. The Loggers return to the Lumberyard tonight for a 6:05 pm first pitch in a rematch against the Border Cats.

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