Border Cats Earn Split After Early Offensive Battle
By Lance Jones
All eight runs of a 5-3 Thunder Bay Border Cats victory over the division leading La Crosse Loggers were scored in the first three innings. The win earned the Cats a split of the four game series against La Crosse. The first meetings of the season between the Great Plains East subdivision rivals seen the teams split a day-night double header yesterday after La Crosse took the opener on Tuesday.
Early on it looked as if both offenses came into the game triple primed to put up some monster numbers.
Border Cats Starter Mark Anderson (Lafayette C.) was tagged for a run early. Loggers Leadoff man Cody Jefferis (San Diego) put up a “How are ya?” double to left to start the game. Anderson would get a couple of quick outs before Brady Allen (South Carolina) came through on a single to right field to cash in Jefferis.
The Loggers were gifted two runners on back to back walks to start the second. Levi Usher (Louisville) put a textbook single up the middle to make it 2-0. Jefferis would collect his second hit in as many innings as he drove in Jacob English (South Carolina) on a carbon copy of Usher’s RBI single.
That would be all the gifts Anderson would hand out. But first the Cats offense had to back their man by getting after Loggers Starter Mason McMahon (UW-La Crosse). Ryne Edmondson (Houston Baptist) turned on the afterburners to beat out a weird chopper that Loggers Second Baseman Brett Hawkins had to field. And despite all possible human effort, could not get Edmondson. Conor Allard (Nevada-Reno) walked and McMahon uncorked a wild pitch to put both runners in scoring position. The next hitter, Jordan Larson (Northern Illinois) would get the Cats on the board with a single up the middle. The Cats would get the bases loaded and roll into a double play, but Allard scored to make it 3-2.
Jake Engel (Dixie St.) went hammer time on a 1-2 fastball that had a full flight crew on it. His second home run of the season plating Anthony Galati (Sacramento City) who walked with one out. Thomas Grilli (Panola C.) would give the Cats their fifth run when he knocked in Edmondson from second base.
And then the offenses were silenced. From then on it was a pitching battle with donuts all over the scoreboard.
Anderson would not let the first two innings define his night. In the first two innings he allowed four hits and walked two to go with the three earned in a rough beginning. But he stymied the Loggers from the third on. Anderson would issue two walks and allow one measly hit the rest of the way. From the third to the sixth inning Anderson (1-0) seen only one runner reach second and would strike out four on the way to picking up the win.
After the Cats three run third inning, Loggers starter McMahon completely shut down the Cats offense going nine up nine down over the next three frames. McMahon (1-2) was charged with the loss though as he would finish allowing five runs on five hits and four walks to go with five strikeouts. Jacob Little (Texas St.) struckout three over two innings in a bid to help the Loggers comeback.
However, Carlos Lequerica (Bethune-Cookman) tossed a strong three innings to shut the door and secure the win for the Cats. Stranding one Logger in scoring position in the seventh and eighth, Lequerica would get all three hitters in the ninth for the save. He would pick two punch outs of the eleven hitters he faced.
The Border Cats are back on the bus as they take the long trip to Waterloo, Iowa to take on the Bucks in the first of a four game series at Riverfront Stadium. It’s the first meeting between the two ball clubs this season. They will then visit Eau Claire for a pair before coming back to Thunder Bay next week