Bats Go Silent After Hot Start, Loggers fall 6-2
ROCHESTER, MN: La Crosse entered Thursday night’s action looking to make up ground in the Great Plains East. After coming off 5 days of rest over the All-Star Break the Loggers we’re looking to make up some ground in their division. Unfortunately, things did not pan out that way as La Crosse fell 6-2 to Rochester.
The game started off about as well as it could have for the Loggers. Poncho Ruiz (San Diego State) blasted a two-run homer to left field to give La Crosse an early 2-0 lead. However the 8 innings that followed were not as pleasant for the Lumbermen.
Loggers starter in Emmet Olson (Nebraska) was battling command issues (4 walks on the night) while also trying to pitch over his defense’s lack of concentration. Two key unearned runs came across to score for Rochester in the 3rd due to a throwing error from Ruiz and a fielding error from Bill Ralston (Metro of Denver).
Those two errors gave Rochester all the momentum they needed. Cole Fontanelle (Washington) had a huge night at the plate and in the field for the Honkers. Rochester’s first baseman grabbed 3 hits, 2 RBI’s, 2 SB’s and played some marvelous defense in the field.
Rochester was also backed by some great pitching out of their bullpen. After starter Aaron Vernon (Benedictine Mesa) left the game after 4 with a 3-2 lead, the Honkers bullpen came in and took care of the rest. Patrick Williams (Lipscomb) would go on to earn the victory after firing 3 scoreless frames out of the pen. Darren Jansen (San Jose State) came on for a 2 inning save to close the door on La Crosse’s chances in game one.
After putting up 2 runs on 2 hits in the 1st inning, La Crosse was shutout on just 5 hits for the remainder of the evening. The Loggers fell to 19-30 and remain 2.0 GB of Duluth and Eau Claire for 1st place in the second half standings.
Lucas Braun (1-1, 3.20 ERA) will go for the Loggers in game two against Casey Trapp (2-0, 1.10 ERA). 6:35 first pitch from Mayo Field on Friday night.