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Pitching and Baserunning Leads Rox Past Loggers

July1Final

St. Cloud, Minn. – The St. Cloud Rox (22-9) picked up their sixth shutout of the season and completed a two game sweep of the La Crosse Loggers (16-16) with a 6-0 win Friday at Joe Faber Field.

The Rox won their Northwoods League best 22nd game of the season, and increased their North Division lead to a game and a half over the Eau Claire Express with only four games remaining in the first half.

The Rox got hot early, bringing home two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After back-to-back singles by Ricky Ramirez (McNeese State) and Drew Freedman (Wake Forest), Luke Ringhofer (South Dakota State) drove in the first run of the game with a groundout. Michael Strem (Boston College) was up next and singled home another run.

Freeman impressed all night, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances, including two hits and two walks. He also scored twice and stole four bases, increasing his season total to 11 steals.

St. Cloud starting pitcher Dan Metzdorf (Boston College) got into a groove early, not allowing a hit until the third inning of the game. Metzdorf would last six innings, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out five batters. He earned his first win of the season Friday in just his second appearance for the team.

The Rox doubled their lead in the fourth, with Brendan Illies (North Carolina) coming home on a wild pitch and Ramirez scoring on a Ringhofer sacrifice fly. Mason Mamarella (Kent State) singled home another run in the seventh, and Strem hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the final run of the night.

Reliever Colin Strall (LSU) came on to pitch in the seventh inning and, like he has all season, delivered a great relief appearance. Strall pitched three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three batters. He earned his team-best fourth save of the year and had his ninth straight outing without allowing a run. Strall leads Rox pitchers who have thrown at least five innings with a 0.71 ERA.

The 22 wins from the Rox is a franchise record for most win in the first half of a Northwoods League season. With only four games remaining in the first half, the Rox only need three wins to seal the first half crown and clinch a playoff spot.

The Rox will wrap up the first half with a road trip to Madison and Rockford starting Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. game against the Mallards. They will return to the Rock Pile on Wednesday, July 12th for a 7:05 p.m. game against the Eau Claire Express. The game will feature Baseball Bingo presented by Kwik Trip.

Tonight’s game one St. Cloud Times Player of the Game was Drew Freedman for his efforts on the base paths. 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