The Woodchucks bounced back from a rough loss to Battle Creek on Saturday night by edging the Bombers, 6-5, Sunday afternoon at C.O. Brown Stadium.
In a game where the two teams combined to strand 29 runners on base, the Woodchucks and closer Max Ising got the last laugh, as the Bombers stranded three runners in the ninth inning and Ising closed out the one-run victory for his eighth save of the year.
The Woodchucks (8-6) struck first in the top of the first inning, when after center field Derek Peake reached with a hit by pitch, first baseman Brendon Hayden blasted his sixth home run of the year, a two-run shot to right field, spotting Wisconsin to an early 2-0 lead.
The lead became 3-0 when second baseman Eric Garza doubled home a run, his second of three hits on the night, in the third inning.
After Battle Creek (4-9) scored one in the bottom of the third on a homerun from first baseman Matt Dacey, the Woodchucks would score the next three runs answered, taking a 6-1 advantage.
Things became interesting in the seventh inning, when relievers Patrick Kenney and Connor McFadden combined to allow three runs, as the Bombers cut the lead to 6-4.
It was 6-5 when Ising came on for the ninth. Bombers’ left fielder David Richards led off with a double to left center, before designated hitter Jordan Hand singled him to third. After a strikeout, Ising walked the next batter to load the bases. However, a strikeout and a groundout to short from the final two Bomber batters nailed down the victory for the Woodchucks.
Starting righty Alex Phillips was credited with the win and improved to 3-1, tossing five innings while surrendering one run on four hits, striking out three and walking two. In addition to Garza’s three hits, the Chucks got multi-hit efforts from Hayden (2-for-5), shortstop Ryan Howard (2-for-6), third baseman Paul DeJong (2-for-6) and right fielder Connor Beck (2-for-5).
The Woodchucks are off on Monday, before taking on the Kalamazoo Growlers at Homer Stryker Field on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 P.M.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwood’s League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwood’s League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwood’s League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwood’s League YouTube channel. For more information, visit woodchucks.com.