Lumbermen Win in Walk-Off Fashion Against Moondogs
LA CROSSE, Wis – The Loggers opened their two-game series with the Mankato Moondogs in exciting fashion. The Lumberman won in comeback fashion in the bottom of the 9th to get the walk-off win. The ‘W’ for the Loggers (3-4) keeps them in 2nd place in the Great Plains East. The Moondog ‘L’ doesn’t affect their 1st place standing in the Great Plains West, but they now are tied for 1st with the Willmar Stingers who are also 5-2.
This game was an exciting one as it contained 4 lead changes ultimately ending with a walk-off win from the Logs. The Moondogs struck first scoring 5 runs in the first 2 innings, but the Loggers responded quickly by scoring 7 in the first three. Following the 3rd, there was some uneventful baseball until the 8th when the Loggers added an insurance run taking their lead to 3 going into the 9th. The Moondogs rallied scoring 4 and taking the lead going into the bottom of the 9th. The Loggers, down to their final outs, scored a run to tie it off a JT Reed (Valley City State) RBI single. Finally, with Aidan Sweatt (North Florida) at the plate, he laid down a sacrifice bunt, which the pitcher then threw away trying to get the putout at third, allowing the winning run to score in the form of Parker Schmidt (Pima CC).
To call this Loggers offense ‘hot’ would be an understatement, last night, all 9 hitters in the lineup recorded a hit, with Parker Schmidt and Brandon Fields (South Carolina) recording multi-hit games. There were also 4 stolen bases in the Loggers effort, coming from Payton Eeles (Cedarville), Ronnie Sweeny (Minnesota), Brandon Fields, and TJ Manteufel (Bradley).
The Loggers pitching was shaky at first, but the “bro-pen” really settled in with Cam Robinson, Jacob Ferris, and, Zac Czerniawski combining to pitch 6 scoreless frames from the 3rd-8th. They struck out 9, with Marius Balandis (St. Louis) earning the Win. For the Moondogs Dalton Mesaris took the loss with Thomas Bruss received a blown save.
Throughout the course of the game, there were many calls that the Moondogs dugout did not like, but the straw the broke the camel’s back came from a called ball in the bottom of the ninth in which Aidan Sweatt tried to lay down a bunt, but pulled back. The catcher appealed to the 1st base umpire (Matthew Metcalf) who said he did not go, which led to a called ball. Moondogs’ manager Matt Wollenzin did not like that call and let home plate umpire (Conner Mckenzie) know it; his chirping ultimately led to him being thrown out of the game.
The Loggers look to send the Moondogs home winless tonight at Copeland Park.