Rox Battle Into the Ninth Inning, Drop Close Game to Willmar
St. Cloud, MN – Garrett Delano (Brown) and Cam Kline (Minnesota State-Mankato) both hit home runs, but St. Cloud (12-11) dropped a close game to Willmar (16-8) by a final score of 8-7. A crowd of over 2,000 people attended the game at the Rock Pile.
After the Rox fell behind 5-0 in the top of the second inning, they would respond with seven consecutive runs over the next six innings. It started in the bottom of the second inning when Kline drilled his first home run of the season over the left field wall.
Parker Smejkal (Nebraska-Omaha) blasted an RBI-double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring Jordan Barth (Augustana) who had hit a double in the previous at-bat.
Delano stepped up in a crucial way in the bottom of the sixth inning, crushing a 2-run home run over the left field wall with two outs to put the Rox within one run.
Down 5-4 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, St. Cloud loaded the bases. Brady Harlan (Oklahoma) grounded out to shortstop but scored Tyler Finke (Southeastern Louisiana) from third base to tie the game. A few batters later, Hance Smith (California-Berkeley) blooped a 2-RBI single to right field that put the Rox ahead 7-5.
The Rox struck out a total of 17 batters in the game and did so by committee. Ryan Swanson (North Iowa Area CC) started the game and was followed by Max Rippl (Kent State), Justin Simanek (Southeastern Louisiana), Kevin Davis (USC Upstate), Drew Garrett (Johnson County CC), Pedro Garcia (Georgia Gwinnett), Justin Wick (Creighton) and Smith out of the bullpen.
For the full box score from Wednesday’s game, click here.
The Rox will now go on the road for three consecutive games. They open a two-game road series against Bismarck on Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s first pitch at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. They will conclude the three-game road trip against Willmar on Saturday at Bill Taunton Stadium.
St. Cloud will be back at home on Sunday against the Willmar Stingers with a 4:05 p.m. first pitch time. It’s Books and Baseball Day presented by the Initiative Foundation and United Way. The first 200 families with a child five and under receive a book and will have the opportunity to read with the players on the field starting at 3:05 p.m. and concluding at 3:30 p.m. It’s also a Coborn’s Kids Day as children will have the chance to run the bases after the game and get autographs on the field from players and coaches.
All single games tickets – including to the home opener – can be purchased now in person at the Rox Ticket Office located at the Municipal Athletic Complex, by calling the Rox Ticket office at 320-240-9798 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or 24 hours a day by visiting www.stcloudrox.com.
The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). 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.