Connor Beck's 2-RBI single in the bottom of the 6th was the difference as the Wisconsin Woodchucks (23-20, 5-4) defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats (15-26, 1-5) 5-4 at Athletic Park in Wausau.
Beck went 2-3 on the night, part of a 13-hit effort by the Woodchucks which included hits from eight of nine players in the lineup. It was all the help Wisconsin Starter Brian Howard would need as the Freshman earned his 1st win of the season (1-1) striking out nine through six innings, allowing just two hits and two runs (one earned) while walking a pair. Max Ising got roughed up in the 9th for a pair of runs but earned his 7th save of the season.
The Cats were led by Nick Studer (Doane College) and Tyler Rolland (Southern Illinois University). The 5-6 combo was 2-4 with two driven in and 2-2 with two runs scores and two walks respectively. Robb Paller (Columbia University) had the other hit for the Cats also scoring a run and collecting an RBI.
Border Cat Reliever Ben Allison (Belhaven University) took the loss dropping to 2-4. In three innings of relief he allowed four runs, three earned on eight hits. Starter Gunnar Kay (Dallas Baptist) went a pair of innings allowing one run on two hits. Tyler Lequire (Pfeiffer University), Zach Morgenstern (Augustana College), and Austin Griffie (Harford CC) all pitched one inning of shut out baseball in the 6th, 7th, and 8th giving the Border Cats a chance to make a comeback, and the rally fell short.
The Cats trailed 3-1 before Beck singled to score Nate Mondou and Ryan Howard in the home half of the 6th. The night was a tough one offensively for Thunder Bay and chances were limited as they only had five hits and only stranded four on base.
The 9th inning though sparked some life in the Border Cat offense as Ising found trouble with two out. Rolland singled with Paller on. Then Studer doubled both runners in to cut the lead to one and make himself the game tying run represent all in one swing. But that was all the scoring Ising allowed as he got out of dodge throwing a strikeout to end the ball game.
The Border Cats finish the four game South Division road trip on Wednesday night when they look for a split against the Woodchucks. First pitch is set to fly for 7:35 EDT.