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Published On: August 8th, 2014


The Thunder Bay Border Cats held off a rally by the St. Cloud Rox to escape with a 7-6 win in action at Joe Faber Field on Thursday night. Relief Pitcher Ben Allison (Belhaven University) went into the 9th inning with a two run lead and allowed one to score, before shutting the door and stranding the tying run on third to close out the ball game. Allison earned his 2nd save of the season in what was a complete team victory. Both teams were competitive despite being eliminated from playoff contention. The Border Cats put together a great offensive display and got great pitching, both from the bullpen and Starter Nathan Aultman. The Rox outhit the Cats and rallied to make things close early in the game but just came up short.

Leading the charge for the Border Cats was the top third of the order. Jacob Robson (Mississippi State) and Columbia University teammates Jordan Serena and Robb Paller all reached base a minimum of 3 times on the night. Third Baseman Adam Collins (Central Michigan) had a 2-RBI base hit to reach 22 for the season and Ty Blankmeyer (St. John's) was 2-4 with a stolen base and a run scored in the 9 spot. The top of the order were indeed the table setters though showcasing the ability to reach base and run well. Robson was 1-3 with two walks and two steals along with a run scored. Serena had a 3-5 night with three runs scored. Paller had a 2-2 night with both hits being doubles, notching his 46th RBI and walking in his three other plate appearences.

The heart of the Rox order did the damage against Thunder Bay. Clay Ardeeser, Will Craig and Boo Vazquez drove in all the runs, with all three having two-RBI nights in the 3-4-5 spots, respectively, in the order. Craig, the cleanup hitter, was 4-5 with two doubles and a run scored. Vazquez was 2-5, hitting into his 3rd triple of the season. Ardeeser was 1-3 with two walks and a run scored. Catcher Charles Galiano also quietly put together a 2-3 night with a run scored for the Rox.

Nathan Aultman (Northwestern State) made just his second start of the summer for the Cats. The Mangham, Louisiana native collected his first win (1-1) allowing five runs on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Devin McLemore (Winston Salem State) continued to pitch with confidence and has shown what he is capable of. He pitched 2 2/3 of shutout ball, allowing two hits with a walk and a strikeout. McLemore, since July 13th has made 10 appearances with a 3-0 record, a paltry 0.86 ERA with a save, six walks and 14 strikeouts. He is allowing an opponents batting average of .171 over that span.

Tim Faix took the loss (2-4) for the Rox. He only made it through 2 2/3, surrendering four runs on three hits with five walks issued. Trevor Charpie came in and slowed the offense a bit. He gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts, managing 5 1/3 innings, working his way into the 9th.

After the teams swapped runs in the first, the Cats took the lead in the 3rd. Nick Studer (Doane College) walked with the bases loaded to plate Serena. It would be the last walk Faix would issue. The first batter that Charpie faced however was Collins. The 2nd year Border Cat drove in Correa and Tyler Rolland (Southern Illinois) on a base hit to give Thunder Bay a 4-1 lead.

The Cats would add a pair of runs in the 4th to extend the gap.

The Rox would respond with a 5th inning rally. With the bases loaded, Aultman walked Ardeeser. Craig doubled to scored Morgan Phillips and Liam Bedford. Vazquez would single to score Ardeeser to draw the deficit to one.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Rox would get some life. Allison got tough outs in Chris Paul and Ardeeser. Craig would double and be followed by Vazquez's triple. After a walk put runner's on the corner's, Allison put three pitches past Robert Youngdahl to seal the deal.

The Border Cats will look for the sweep on Friday night at Joe Faber Field with first pitch slated for 8:05 EDT/7:05 local.