Strall In Lockdown Mode; Rox Edge Willmar 3-2
Willmar, MN – It was another lockdown performance. RHP Collin Strall (LSU) was summoned on out of the bullpen and produced a phenomenal outing. The righty logged 3 shutout innings, only surrendered 2 hits, did not walk a batter, and picked up the save. St. Cloud (19-8) edged out Willmar (13-15) in the end, 3-2, at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Rox become the first team in the Northwoods League to reach 19 wins this season. Strall has not allowed an earned run in his last 17.1 innings.
Offense was hard to come by, but the Rox sprinkled it in spots that mattered and ultimately it was enough. In the top of the first inning, Ricky Ramirez (McNeese State) led off the game with a walk. Drew Freedman then executed a sacrifice bunt to move over Ramirez. Denis Karas (California) produced an RBI ground out and St. Cloud jumped out to a 1-0 advantage after the first inning.
Willmar tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the second inning. The Rox offense was back to business in the third inning. Michael Strem crushed a ball into left field to score Freedman and the Rox took a 2-1 lead after 3 innings.
The most important run came when the game was tied, 2-2, heading into the 7th inning. With two outs, Luke Ringhofer snuck a ground ball up the middle for a base hit and Freedman scored again. This time, the Rox took a 3-2 lead and did not look back from there.
RHP Carlo Graffeo (Southeastern Louisiana) made his second start for the Rox and tossed 6 innings with only 2 runs allowed. He also only surrendered 3 hits. The Stingers offense was silent after the third inning and that is in large part due to the strong St. Cloud pitching. Willmar only recorded 3 hits from the fourth inning onward.
The Rox play a doubleheader on Wednesday at Bill Taunton Stadium against the Willmar Stingers. Game 1 first pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. and the Rox Solid Pregame Warmup starts at 12:35 p.m on 1390 AM The Fan. Game 2 will start at 7:05 p.m. RHP Austin Dubsky (Murray State) will start game 1 for St. Cloud and LHP Dan Metzdorf (Boston College) is scheduled to start game 2.
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 Times Player of the Game is Collin Strall. Strall tossed 3 shutout innings and only allowed 2 hits while picking up the save.
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