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COLLINS WALK-OFF GIVES CATS WIN IN A THRILLER IN EXTRAS

Charles Thielmann pitching against the Huskies

Border Cats Starting Pitcher Charles Thielmann went seven innings, but did not get a decision in action at TBaytel Park. The Cats won in 10 innings 5-4 to take the Superior Cup. (Photo Courtesy of James Mirabelli Photograhy)

In front of rocking, raucous season high crowd of 1,332 fans at TBaytel Park, the Thunder Bay Border Cats (14-21) won on a walk-off ground rule double by Adam Collins (Central Michigan) 5-4 in the 10th over the Duluth Huskies (9-27). The win allows the Cats to reclaim the Superior Cup against Duluth after losing the Border Battle to the Huskies in each of the last three seasons.  The Cats hold a 5-1 lead with two games remaining in the season series.  Monday's win also marked the end of the first half Northwoods league season, which sees Willmar win the North Division and Lakeshore the South Divsion booking a ticket to the playoffs against the second half winners.

For the Cats, the 1 and 9 spots of the order combined to go 7-10 with two runs and an RBI. Jordan Serena (Columbia University) extended an eight game hitting streak in which he has multi-hit games in all but one by going 4-5 at the top of the order. Collins along with the game winning double went 3-5 driving in his 12th RBI of the season. Sal Taormina (Kean University) checked in with a 2-5 night including his team leading 9th double and 16th RBI.

Devin McLemore (Winston Salem State) recovered from letting up the tying run in the 9th to pitch a three up three down 10th. The win makes McLemore 1-3 after letting up one run on one hit, striking out three over two innings of work. Border Cat starter Charles Thielmann (Kean University) had yet another strong outing, pitching to contact, but left with a no decision. He working seven strong, allowing nine hits and one unearned run while walking two and striking out two. His counter part Husky starter Patrick McGrath matched Thielmann's seven inning start allowing seven hits and three earned runs, walking one and striking out four with a no decision.

In the top of the 8th the Huskies made their first comeback of the night as errors cost the Cats. Nathan Aultman (Northwestern State) allowed two runs (both unearned) in the inning on an error that cost Thunder Bay the 3-1 lead they had. Then in the bottom of the 8th the Border Cats retook the lead on the RBI double by Taormina that scored Nick Studer (Doane College).

With a 4-3 lead Manager John Hernandez called on McLemore to close it out. After plunking the leadoff hitter Trent Chatterton then recording back to back strikeouts, Huskies clean up hitter Michael Tinsley hit a ball into the left centre gap that with the blustery wind aided Tinsley in sliding in with a triple to play temporary hero.

In the top half, McLemore got the Huskies on two groundouts and a strikeout. In the bottom half the Border Cats would have two on and one out for Collins who doubled just in front of the left-centre fence and the ground rule double would finish the game in walk-off fashion plating Tyler Patterson (St. Cloud State) the pinch runner.

The Northwoods League has no games scheduled for Canada Day. The Border Cats begin the second half on the road in Alexandria beginning Wednesday night. Gunnar Kay is scheduled to take his 1-1 record to the mound against the Blue Anchors, with action to get under way at 7:35 EDT.