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Published On: May 28th, 2014

Rox Defeat Thunder Bay on Opening Night

Thunder Bay, ON – The St. Cloud Rox inaugurated their third season Tuesday night by defeating the Thunder Bay Border Cats 9-7 at Port Arthur Stadium on the opening night of the 2014 Northwoods League season. Pitchers Trevor Charpie (W, 1-0) and Kevin Burgee (S, 1) combined to allow just one base runner in the last four innings, allowing Harrison Wenson’s two-run double in the top of the seventh to hold up as the Rox were victorious in Thunder Bay.

Rox starting pitcher Kenny Anderson fired four scoreless innings to begin the game for St. Cloud, scattering seven hits from the Border Cats as the left-handed pitcher picked up the no-decision. The offensive barrage for the Rox began in the top of the third when Eric Loxtercamp smacked a two-run homerun to left field that scored Danny Baer to give the Rox a 2-0 lead. Loxtercamp finished the game with a 3-for-5 night while scoring two runs and plating two more, including the Rox’s first home run of the season.

From there, St. Cloud put up five more runs in the top of the fifth, four coming with nobody out in the inning off Thunder Bay starter Tyler Lequire to build a strong lead over the Border Cats at the midway point. After Baer and Loxtercamp hit consecutive singles and Charles Galiano reached on a fielders choice, Clay Ardeeser roped a double that brought all three in to score and Will Craig followed up with a double of his own to bring Ardeeser across the plate. Craig would eventually score after a sacrifice fly at the end of the inning from Wenson to make it a 7-0 lead for the Rox.

But the Border Cats did not go down without a fight, as they answered St. Cloud’s big fifth inning with one of their own, getting seven runs off four hits in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at seven. The threat in the fifth was ended when Charpie came in to record the final out of the inning, leaving two men on base and the score tied. He shut down the Border Cats in the sixth and seventh as well, going two and one-third innings while allowing just one hit.

The game stayed tied until the seventh inning, when Wenson registered the game-winning double to left-center field, bringing in Ardeeser and Craig to give the Rox their winning score of 9-7. Reliever Kevin Burgee came on for the final two innings of the bout for St. Cloud, retiring all six batters faced and striking out four to record his first save of the season and give the Rox their first victory (1-0) of 2014. Ardeeser finished the night 2-for-2 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored as Wenson also totaled three RBIs to lead St. Cloud to the win over Thunder Bay (0-1).

The two teams will meet again today at 10:05 a.m. CST from Thunder Bay for the conclusion of the two-game series. After that the Rox will head to Willmar Thursday night for a one-game stand before heading back to St. Cloud on Friday, May 30th for the 2014 home opener with the Stingers at 7:05 p.m. at Joe Faber Field, presented by Coborn’s. The game will feature former Minnesota Twins legend and two-time World Series champion Gene Larkin throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and signing autographs throughout the game, followed a huge post-game fireworks display presented by Coborn’s.

The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest summer collegiate baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 119 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit www.stcloudrox.com.