St. Cloud, Minn. – Big nights from Aaron Rozek (Minnesota State, Mankato) and Angelo Altavilla (Nebraska) gave the St. Cloud Rox (17-7, 40-19) a 9-5 victory over the Waterloo Bucks (9-17, 31-30) on Tuesday night at Joe Faber Field.
Rozek had arguably his best start of the season, lasting 7.0 innings allowing three earned runs
with five strikeouts. He faced the minimum between the second and sixth innings, and earned his fourth win of the season.
Altavilla also had his best game of the season, and paced the Rox offense. He had three hits in four-at bats, including an RBI double and a solo homerun. He doubled his RBI total from this season with his performance Tuesday, and also scored two runs. He finished just a triple short of the cycle.
The Rox opened the game by plating a run in the second and third innings. Altavilla led off the second with a single and Brett Pope (Western Carolina) followed with a walk, and they were advanced by Brendan Illies (North Carolina). Drew Freedman (Nova Southeastern) loaded the bases after a dropped third strike that the catcher could not pick up. A run would score when Marcus Carson (Kentucky) singled, but Pope slipped rounding third for the final out of the inning.
The third inning was when Altavilla picked up his double, allowing Mason Mamarella (Kent State) to show off his speed and score from first.
The Rox broke the game open in the sixth inning. Pope and Illies reached to start the inning, and Freedman tripled to bring home a run. Webb Bobo (Southeastern Louisiana) followed with an RBI single and later Ricky Ramirez (McNeese State) would also single, with an error from the center fielder bringing two runs across the plate.
The offense would flare up again in the seventh. Altavilla led off the frame with his solo home run to make the score 8-0. A double by Pope and a single by Freedman would bring home the final Rox run of the game.
Carlo Graffeo made his first relief appearance of the season, working the final two innings of the game. He would only allow two hits and a walk.
Waterloo staged a comeback in the eighth, scoring five runs, but it was not enough to top the Rox.
St. Cloud still has the most wins in the Northwoods League with 41, and leads the North Division standings for both the second half and overall. The Rox hold a 10 game lead in the overall standings with 12 games remaining, meaning if they win two more games they would be almost guaranteed to make the postseason.
The Rox and Bucks will meet again on Wednesday at the Rock PIle, as St. Cloud concludes an eight game homestand. It's Rox Trading Card Set giveaway presented by Rengel Printing and Times Media. The first 500 fans will recieve a set of St. Cloud Rox baseball cards! Baseball Bingo presented by Kwik Trip.
Tonight’s St. Cloud Times Player of the Game was Angelo Altavilla for his performance at the plate. 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 or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.