LA CROSSE, WI – The La Crosse Loggers put on their Old Styles uniforms for the last time this season on Thursday night. They welcomed in the St. Cloud Rox for a two-game series full of potential playoff implications.
The Rox scored two over the course of the first two innings. Haiden Hunt led the game off with a double to left field before a single by Jackson Hauge would drive him in. In the second, Jose Gonzalez would single and advance to second and third on a wild pitch during the next at-bat. Kevin Butler would ground out to third base allowing Gonzalez to score. After two, the score was 2-0 St. Cloud.
Three more would come for the Rox in the third. Sawyer Smith would lift a ball over the wall in right-center with one man on to make the game 4-0. Later in the inning, two Rox would walk before a single by Oscar Serratos Jr. would drive in another run. After three, the score was 5-0. The Loggers would not get their first hit of the game until the fifth inning. Rox starter Wes Burton was absolutely dealing.
The Rox would break the game open in the top of the sixth. With a runner in scoring position, Sawyer Smith would double to bring in a run. Another single by Jose Gonzalez would bring in Smith. Later in the inning, with two men on, Noah Greise would get his first hit with the Rox on a two RBI double to the corner in right. Finally, Serratos Jr. would bring Greise home with a single, making the score 10-0.
The Loggers would not get shut-out however. A sacrifice fly by Matthew Piotrowski in the bottom of the sixth would bring in the first Logger run of the game. The Loggers would bring home two more in the eighth with a two-run homer by Brandon Fields in his welcome back to Copeland Park. Three runs would not get the job done though as the Rox finished the game in front 10-3. For a Loggers team that has been oh so hot in the second half, the Rox figured out how to put out their fire, at least for one night.
With the win, the Rox improve to 16-9, one game out of Willmar for first place in the Great Plains West Division. With the loss, the Loggers drop to 20-5, one and a half games in front of Waterloo for first place in the Great Plains East Division. The two clubs will do battle once again at Copeland Park on Friday night at 6:35 PM.