St. Cloud, MN — The Rox bats were alive and well early in their 1st round matchup with the Stingers, and after a strong opening inning they never looked back. For the 3rd straight season they are on to the North Division Title Game after a 9-1 blowout of their rival down the road.
It all started in the 1st when Drew Avans (Southeastern Louisiana) started the inning with a walk, which was followed by a Daniel Schneemann (BYU) single. Later, team co-MVP Matthew Tarantino (Pacific) drove in the 1st run of the game on a single. The next two batters Mason Mamarella (Kent State) and Angelo Altavilla (Nebraska) joined in and extended the Rox lead to 3 by the end of the 1st.
St. Cloud scored four over the next two innings and never looked back thanks to another dominating performance on the mound. The Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year Aaron Rozek (Minnesota State-Mankato) proved why he earned the honor tonight. For the 5th time this year he tossed at least 7 innings, and Monday had 10 strikeouts to zero walks. He only gave up a solo home run in the 6th inning. Over his last four starts, the lefty has allowed only 2 runs in 27 innings. Tonight he set the new single season record for the Rox in strikeouts.
Schneemann and Tarantino led the offense that gave Rozek plenty of run support. Each tallied 4 hits, and for Schneemann it marked the 3rd time this year he accomplished the feat.
The Rox move on to face the MoonDogs tomorrow night on the road. The two teams split the season series 4-4 with St. Cloud winning the last 3 games, including a 10-3 rout at The Frank. Robbie Palkert (Nebraska) takes the mound as the Rox look to advance to the Northwoods League World Series for the 2nd time in 3 years. 1st pitch is at 7:05 PM.
Tonight's Box Score.
Northwoods League Standings.
Monday's St. Cloud Times Player of the Night is Aaron Rozek. The NWL Pitcher of the Year gave up 1 run in 7 innings, and compiled 10 strikeouts for the 4th time this year.
The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two- time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). 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 or on Google Play and set the Rox as your favorite team.