Willmar, MN – The bats couldn’t wake up for St. Cloud (44-15) on Thursday night, falling 5-1 in the series opener with Willmar (29-32).
The Rox were able to hold onto their five-and-a-half game lead over Mankato for the best record in the Northwoods League as the MoonDogs fell on Thursday as well. St. Cloud’s magic number for home-field advantage throughout the postseason is down to five. For the full Northwoods League standings, click here.
Otto Kemp (Point Loma Nazarene) put the Rox on the board in the third inning with a solo home run out to center field. The round-tripper was his fifth of the season and ended up being the Rox’ only tally of the night in Willmar.
The bullpen kept the Rox in it in the late innings after falling behind early. Max Rippl (Kent State) tossed three scoreless frames in relief while striking out five batters and only allowing two hits on the night.
Then, Owen Leonard (Washington State) made his first appearance since July 14 and threw a scoreless eighth inning. Leonard left runners on the corners to give the bats a chance in the ninth.
For a full box score from Thursday’s game, click here.
The Rox look to split the series with the Stingers and win the season series over Willmar with a win on Friday night. First pitch from Bill Taunton Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 pm. St. Cloud returns home on Monday to face the Rochester Honkers in a two-game series.
The St. Cloud Rox are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods 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 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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.