Long Balls Sink Cats
By Lance Jones
St. Cloud Rox turned Joe Faber into the Field of Dreams, complete with 1940’s style uniforms and corn stalks along the back fence. On and on back-to-back home runs dreams became celebrations as the first inning paced them to a 4-3 win over the Thunder Bay Border Cats.
The 7-8-9 part of the order was super solid for Thunder Bay as Ryne Edmondson (Houston Baptist) was 3-for-3, scoring twice, in the seven spot with a run batted in. Karsten Vasquez (College of San Mateo-CA) chipped in a 1-for-3 game. And JJ Rollon (Pima CC-AZ) was 2-for-2 in the nine hole with a stolen base. Jakob Newton (Florida Tech) managed to keep his on base streak rolling, making it the longest active streak in the Northwoods League at 29 games. The current longest in the league this season is 35.
Ryan Windham (Creighton University-NE) pitched a quality start for the Border Cats but took the loss dropping to 2-2. It was a rough start in the first inning that undid his night. With one out, Gus Steiger (South Dakota State) managed to skip one just out of the reach of the third baseman. Windham got a big second out before Garett Delano (Brown University) smashed one to deep left for his eventh long ball of the season. Freddy Achecar (Georgetown University) followed with a firework to right to push it to 3-0 after one.
The Cats would start to chip away in the third. Edmondson walked on after Rox Starter Carter Bosch (Georgetown University) could not get him to chase strike three. Vasquez and Rollon loaded up the bases with back to back singles. With nobody out Nate Soriano (Houston Baptist) cracked one deep enough to plate Edmondson. The Cats could not find any more runs in the inning, settling for one.
Newton would get on in the fourth on the single. He would steal second. Edmondson dropped a flare into left to get Newton around and cut the Rox lead to one.
Bosch’s night would be done after five strong and a quality start. He allowed four hits and two runs on two walks and three strikeouts.
The Rox offense would solidify the win for Bosch (5-2) in the sixth. Steiger got aboard on a bit of a bobble at third and an error charged to the third baseman. Jordan Barth singled to left centre and Steiger streaked into third. Delano came through with his third run batted in to push home Steiger.
Thunder Bay would score one back in a seventh inning rally off of Justin Wick (Creighton). Edmondson rolled a dribbler to third for an infield single. Vasquez put in a sacrifice to move Edmondson to third. Rollon whistled one through the gap in the right side of the infield to move Edmondson down. A double steal move forced Rollon to get caught on the basepaths while Edmondson counted.
Windham’s night was over. After throwing seven innings, he allowed just five hits and four runs (three earned) on one walk and four strikeouts. Windham took his second straight quality start loss dropping to 2-2.
Blake Stelzer (Concordia University-St. Paul) organized one hit allowed and struck out three of seven hitters he faced for a two inning save, his fourth of the season.
These two teams wrap up their two game series on Sunday Afternoon at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
EXTRA INNINGS: Former Border Cat Ryan Court made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners July 26th in a pinch hit bid against Detroit. He would make his first start on Saturday night going 2-for-5 with a double and three runs batted in.