Rox Erase Bases Loaded Jams To Win Fifth Straight
Eau Claire, WI – RHP starter Jake Stevenson (Minnesota) walked three straight batters to begin the bottom of the third inning. Manager Augie Rodriguez called for the bullpen to start tossing. Stevenson stood tall and the next batter punched a ground ball right at the right-handed hurler. He vacuumed the ball up and started a double play by throwing first to home plate. This propelled the Rox (5-4) to a 3-1 victory over Eau Claire (5-4) at Carson Park.
St. Cloud leaped out to another early lead in the top of the first inning. TJ Friedl (Nevada) singled to start the frame. Denis Karas (California) hit a pop up in foul ground on the first base side. The Eau Claire first baseman had to dive to make the catch and that allowed Friedl to tag from third and score the game’s first run.
Brendan Illies (UNC) was the key run producer for the Rox the rest of the way. Illies connected with two sacrifice flies in the second and fourth innings.
Stevenson finished with 6 innings on the mound and only surrendered one hit. St. Cloud starters have lasted at least 6 innings in each of the last five games. The right-handed hurler picked up his first win of the season.
The Rox were outhit from the six inning onward 5-4, but caught a lot of bounces during this span. Chris Martin (Kent State) was summoned out of the bullpen first and had to deal with disruption on the base paths. Martin allowed a hit and back-to-back walks with one out in the 7th inning to load the bases. The righty just let up a sacrifice fly and after 7 innings the Rox still led 3-1. This ended the St. Cloud 26 inning scoreless streak on defense.
Collin Strall worked through traffic to earn the save in this contest. He issued two walks that sandwiched a double and with one out the Express had the bases load again. Strall unleashed a wild pitch to the backstop and the ball missed the cushion and caromed off the brick wall right back to Rox catcher Luke Ringhofer. Ringhofer tagged out the Eau Claire runner at the plate to preserve the 3-1 lead after 8 innings. Strall also induced a double play in the 9th inning to get out of another jam.
The Granite City Club is back in action Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. at Carson Park. The Rox Solid Pre Game Warmup begins at 6:05 p.m. on 1390 AM The Fan. RHP Quinten Sefcik will start for St. Cloud on the mound.
Tonight’s game one St. Cloud Times Player of the Game was Jake Stevenson following his fantastic pitching performance. For more coverage of the Rox during the 2016 season visit www.sctimes.com.
For more stats and information about the game, here is the boxscore:
Single game tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day at www.stcloudrox.com, by calling (320) 240-9798 or by visiting the Rox ticket office located at the Municipal Athletic Complex.
The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized 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 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.stcloudrox.com