LA CROSSE, WI – The La Crosse Loggers welcomed the Thunder Bay Border Cats to Copeland Park for the first time since 2019 on Thursday night. The Border Cats, after missing out on Northwoods League action for the past three seasons, were eager to start a four-game series against the Lumbermen. After both the Canadian and American national anthems rang through the grandstands, it was time to play ball!
Edward Berry was on the mound for the Loggers to start this one. His second appearance of the season was a beauty. Aside from surrendering an unearned run in the top of the first, Berry pitched seven full innings with five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. While Berry pitched well all night, the Logger offense struggled to give him any run support.
With the score 1-0, the first Logger runs would come in the seventh inning. Mitch Wood (Yavapai College) reached on an error to shortstop and a sacrifice bunt would move him to second base. Jack Collins (Long Beach State) hit a double to center field, driving in a run and tying the game. Later in the inning, a single by Jordan Donahue (Hawaii), which was a very close play at first base, would drive in another run to give the Loggers the lead 2-1.
The Logger lead would not stand for long. The first three Border Cat batters would reach base on a double, single, and hit-by-pitch respectively. With the bases loaded, Cole Ketzner would tie the game with an RBI single to right field. Logger reliever Tony Pluta (Arizona) would come into the game with the bases still loaded and finish the inning without allowing the Border Cats the Lead.
Pluta remained in the game into the ninth inning. After walking the first two Thunder Bay batters, the tension was strong in Copeland Park. After the first out of the inning, Travis Chestnut stepped up to the plate and hit a go-ahead two RBI double to steal the lead from the Loggers late. In the bottom of the ninth, the Loggers would get one man on, but the next three batters would go down unceremoniously. The Border Cats have won seven games in a row, cruising to first place in the Great Plains East Division. The Loggers drop to 7-16, seven games out of first place.