Craig Homers as Rox Fall to Blue Anchors, 7-3
St. Cloud, MN – The St. Cloud Rox could not extend their winning streak to three as they were defeated by the Alexandria Blue Anchors 7-3 Wednesday night at Joe Faber Field. Will Craig hit a solo home run in the eighth inning and pitched 2.2 relief innings, allowing one run and two hits as the Rox (6-3) allowed three runs in the sixth inning to the Blue Anchors, which proved to be the decider in the end.
Starter Matt Rodgers went 5.1 innings for St. Cloud, allowing six runs on six hits while striking out four to take the loss (1-1) for the Rox. Craig relieved him in the sixth inning, who stopped the bleeding as the Blue Anchors scored three runs in the inning off three hits, giving reliever Andrew Thome (1-0) the victory for Alexandria as he tossed four innings of relief and allowed one run.
The Rox tallied their first run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit as Chris Paul scored the unearned run after being walked, advancing to second on an error and eventually scoring on a walk to Garrett McMullen. After allowing two runs to Alexandria in the third, the Rox tied it back up in the bottom of the inning as Paul doubled to left field and scored again on a double from Clay Ardeeser to make it 2-2.
The Rox then gave up one run to Alexandria in the fourth, three runs in the sixth and another in the eighth, as Daniel Martinez came in with no outs in the inning, retiring the side and striking out one to get the Rox out of a jam. St. Cloud got one back in the bottom of the inning as Craig tallied his first home run of the year, towering one over the center field fence to bring in the final score of the game for St. Cloud.
The Rox got a base runner in scoring position in the ninth as Ardeeser doubled to center field, but could not start a rally as the final score yielded a 7-3 mark in favor of Alexandria. Ardeeser finished the game 2-for-5 with two doubles for the Rox, bringing his batting average to .429 on the season (team-high) and his doubles total to six, while McMullen finished with another RBI, bringing his tally to nine on the year, which is also a team-high.
The Rox now head back to Alexandria for one more game with the Blue Anchors Thursday, before coming back to St. Cloud for a three-game home stand over the weekend, taking on the Thunder Bay Border Cats for two games and finishing the weekend with another contest with Alexandria. Friday’s game will feature a postgame firework display, put on by IRET Properties. Saturday’s matchup is Piggy Bank Giveaway and Quarter Drop Night, presented by Great River Federal Credit Union, and the first 300 kids 12-and-under who receive a piggy bank will have a chance to pick up 1,500 quarters after the game. The weekend finishes Sunday with Pink in the Park Day, as the Rox will wear special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, presented by the Center For Diagnostic Imaging.