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Rox Take Highway 23 Trophy From Willmar

August1Final

St. Cloud, Minn. – For the first time in franchise history, the St. Cloud Rox (16-7, 40-19) claimed the Highway 23 trophy with a 2-1 victory over the Willmar Stingers (15-9, 33-27). The two teams had tied the season series at four wins a piece the last two years, but the win in the second game of Monday’s double-header saw the Rox claim the hardware with their fifth win over the Stingers this season.

After stumbling in the first game of the day, the St. Cloud pitching came through in the second game to seal the victory.

Making his first start of the year, Robbie Palkert (Nebraska) lasted 7.0 innings in the nightcap, allowing just one unearned run and striking out two batters. Palkert has not allowed an earned run in his last five appearances. He lowered his season ERA to 2.05 and earned his third win of the season.

After Palkert came out of the game it was Brian Glowicki (Minnesota) putting on a show again to end the game. Glowicki threw 2.0 innings with no runs on two hits. He also struck out three batters, including the final batter of the game.

The Rox would push runs across in the second and third innings of game two. Denis Karas (Cal Berkeley) started the rally in the second with a one-out walk, and was followed by Mason Mamarella (Kent State) who singled to put runners on first and second. Angelo Altavilla (Nebraska) drove a double down the left field line to bring home Karas for the opening run of the game.

In the third it was Marcus Carson (Kentucky) who hit a double, bouncing one off the wall in right field. Luke Ringhofer (South Dakota State) blooped a single over second base, allowing Carson to score and make the score 2-0. The Stingers would get a run in the seventh, but it was not enough to take the win.

Willmar took the first game of the double header by a final score of 14-2. Drew Freedman (Nova Southeastern) was involved in both of the Rox runs. The first St. Cloud run came in the seventh. Altavilla made a heads up play moving to second on an error by the second baseman. Two batters later Freedman also drew an error to bring the run home. In the ninth, Freedman lifted a ball over the left field fence for his first home run of the year, but the game would end on the next batter.

The split keeps the second half gap between Willmar and St. Cloud at 1.5 games, just as it was coming into the day. The Rox hold a half game lead over the Mankato MoonDogs in the second half standings. St. Cloud holds a 2.5 game lead over Mankato in the overall standings and is 8 games ahead of the second wildcard spot for the playoffs. The Rox are the first team to reach 40 wins this season and hold the best record in the Northwoods League.

The Rox will return to the Rock Pile on Tuesday to start the final series of their eight game homestand against the Waterloo Bucks. Human Cannonball Dave “The Bullet” Smith will launch out of a cannon in a post-game show presented by Brandl Motors.

Tonight’s game one St. Cloud Times Player of the Game was Marcus Carson for his great defensive effort. The game two Player of the Game was Robbie Palkert for his performance in his first start fo the year. 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 for game one and game two.

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 or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.