Thunder Bay, ON (Canada) – It was a monumental night for the St. Cloud Rox. Rox reliever Brian Glowicki (Minnesota) faced serious adversity for the first time this season in the final inning of game one on Thursday evening. The right-hander finished the job. Glowicki operated out of a bases loaded situation and the Rox earned a 6-3 victory over the Thunder Bay Border Cats. This win ensures the Rox a spot in the postseason based on their lead in the overall standings. The Granite City club currently still holds the best record in the Northwoods League with a 43 wins and only 19 losses with 9 games left. St. Cloud finished with the best overall record last season (49-23) and has a great shot to do the same in 2016.
Here is the explanation behind how the Rox clinched a postseason spot. St. Cloud can only be caught by Eau Claire (4 games back) and Mankato (3 games back) for the best record in the North Division overall. The Northwoods League takes the first and second half division winners and in addition the next two teams with the best overall record for the final two playoff spots. Since Eau Claire won the first half, they are disregarded from these final two spots.Thus, there is no way the Rox can finish below 3rd place in the overall standings meaning postseason play lies ahead.
The playoffs begin August 15 and seeding is still yet to be determined. St. Cloud holds a one game lead in the second half North Division standings and if it hangs on to that the rest of the way, the team would host a first round playoff game.
This 6-3 victory in game one featured a one hour and 41 minute rain delay that occurred right before the top of the fourth inning. At that time, the Rox trailed 2-0. Denis Karas (California) was the second hitter to come up in the 4th after the delay and he launched his third home run of the season to make it a 2-1 Thunder Bay lead. St. Cloud rallied for 4 runs in the fifth inning to leap out in front 5-3. This included a two-run single from Karas who finished the contest with 3 RBI. Luke RInghofer (South Dakota State) cranked a solo home run in the 6th inning for insurance in what was his second long ball of the season.
Bobby Gauvreau (Minnesota State – Mankato) and Brian Glowicki slammed the door shut in the final four innings and did not surrender a run. Glowicki earned his 9th save of the season.
In game two, the Rox fell in stunning fashion, 3-2, in 11 innings to the Border Cats. This scheduled 7 inning affair lasted three hours and 17 minutes. Brett Pope (Western Carolina) dropped a pop up in the infield in the final inning and that allowed the winning run to score. St. Cloud struggled on the offensive end with zero hits from the 4th inning onward, but still managed to fight through this long game. Ricky Ramirez (McNeese State) turned in a strong performance out of the bullpen. Normally a position player, Ramirez appeared in just his third game on the mound and logged 2 shutout innings with 4 strikeouts. Despite the loss, the team is still 6-1 against the Border Cats this year.
St. Cloud returns to action Friday night with the seres finale in Thunder Bay, CA. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. Eastern Time and the Rox Solid Pregame Warmup begins 30 minutes in advance on 1390 AM The Fan. LHP Logan Salow (Kentucky) will start for the Rox.
The Rox are back home Saturday, August 6th, with a matchup against the Mankato MoonDogs. It is Battle of the Badges night presented by Keeprs and Country Financial. It is a night to honor Brian Klinefelter. A pre-game softball battle will take place between police officers and firefighters starting at 4:05 pm. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. Central Time.
Thursday’s St. Cloud Times Player of the Game was Brian Glowicki for his 9th save of the season in game one, which helped lock up a playoff spot. For more coverage of the Rox during the 2016 season visit www.sctimes.com
For more stats and information about the game, HERE are the two box scores.
Game 1 – http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=362215
Game 2 – http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=317175
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.