ROX OUTLASTED BY DULUTH IN 12 INNING MARATHON
St Cloud – Dominic Brugnoni singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th for Duluth, and Steve Villines struck out four as the Rox fell tonight 5-4 in front of a crowd of 2,012. The loss for the Rox is their 4th straight, and first in extra innings this season.
The Rox (9-8) scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, both coming on a two-out single by Will Craig. With one out, Morgan Phillips was hit by a pitch and Chris Paul doubled behind him to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Both would come in to score after Clay Ardeeser struck out swinging. Craig would end the night 3-for-5, with three RBI.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Duluth (7-8) would strike for four runs on five hits in the top of the third. Keach Ballard hit his third home run of the year, driving in Austin Darby who led the inning off with a walk against Rox starter Josh Taylor (ND, 0-1). RBI singles by Brugnoni and Eric Peterson gave the Huskies a 4-2 lead.
Phillips would score his second run of the game in the bottom of the third for the Rox, as Vazquez, with the bases loaded and one out, would ground out to first base. The Rox would strike again in the 5th inning on a Craig RBI single that would score Paul.
Neither team would push another runner across until the deciding run in the 12th, as each team got great relief work from their bullpens. Matt Rodgers and Ben Lumsden combined for six innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out six and walking two. Dalton Sawyer allowed just three runners in his three innings plus, walking one and hitting two, the last of which would end up being the game-winning run.
The Rox will turn to All-Star Reese Gregory (4-1, 1.71 ERA) tomorrow night to stop the skid. Left-hander Austin Christensen (0-2, 6.31 ERA) will throw for Duluth. Mountain Man, from the TV show “Duck Dynasty” will be in town to sign autographs and judge a best beard competition, presented by RAM Trucks and Brandl Motors. It’ll also be a fireworksFriday at Joe Faber Field. First pitch tomorrow night is at 7:05.
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.