St. Cloud, MN – The St. Cloud Rox recorded double-digit hits for the second consecutive night and three pitchers combined for a one-run, five-hit performance as the Rox defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats 7-1 Friday night at Joe Faber Field. The Rox are now 8-3 in their 2014 campaign, winning for the second consecutive night as they are now tied for first place in the North Division of the Northwoods League with Rochester, and are also tied for the best record in the league, as four different teams are now 8-3.
For the Rox, Reese Gregory started on the mound, going six innings and scattering four hits while giving up one run and striking out three to earn the win (2-0) for St. Cloud, working with a big lead throughout the night as the offense shined for the second straight game.
The Rox got the scoring going early Friday night, putting up five runs in the second inning to jump out to a quick lead over the Border Cats. Will Craig led off the inning with a single for the Rox and later scored off a Garrett McMullen single to make the score 1-0. In the very next at bat, Kyle Thornell launched a two-run home run to right-center field, his first of the year, to expand the St. Cloud lead. Thornell finished the night 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and also registered a double to lead St. Cloud.
Harrison Wenson then walked to get the rally back going, and Bradley Strong made it 5-0 as he smacked the second, two-run home run of the inning to put the Rox ahead 5-0 after two, giving St. Cloud their seventh home run in the last two games and their 11th of the year (league-high). The Rox tacked on another in the third off another RBI single from McMullen, as he finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs on the evening, giving him a team-high 12 RBIs through 11 games this season.
St. Cloud recorded their final run in the fourth off an RBI single from Will Craig to score Eric Loxtercamp and give the Rox a healthy, 7-0 lead for the pitchers to work with. Gregory allowed his only run of the game in the sixth inning off three hits from Thunder Bay, bringing his scoreless inning streak to an end after 13.1 innings of shutout baseball. After Trevor Jaunich retired the side in the seventh, he was relieved in the eighth by Trevor Charpie, who entered the inning with runners at the corner and nobody out, and proceeded to record a fly out and two strikeouts to end the threat for Thunder Bay.
Charpie went on to retire the side in the ninth, as he has now thrown 8.1 innings in 2014 while not allowing a run to give the Rox a 7-1 win over Thunder Bay. For St. Cloud offensively, seven players recorded hits as Chris Paul and Will Craig each added two-hit nights to lead the offensive barrage for St. Cloud, who tallied 11 total hits Friday night.
The Rox will now finish their two-game series with Thunder Bay tomorrow night at 6:05 p.m. before playing Alexandria Sunday at Joe Faber Field at 1:05 p.m. 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 2,000 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.
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