Tim Hackett, Broadcasting Intern
Big First Inning Powers Docks Spiders to Win over Wisconsin
Wausau, Wis.- After a long rain delay and a first inning that felt nearly as long, the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (3-2) rolled to an 8-1 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks (1-4) at Athletic Park on Saturday night in Wausau. Powered by a big first inning and a stellar start, Fon du Lac rolled to a win in its first-ever appearance in Wausau.
It was a nightmare first inning for starter Kellen Rholl and the Woodchucks as Fond du Lac brought all nine hitters in the order to the plate. Five of them scored. Only two of the runs were earned, but the damage was done: the Dock Spiders had a 5-0 lead.
The Woodchucks threatened in the third as Nolan Ryan singled with one out and Stevie Mangrum picked up one of his own two batters later to put runners on the corners with two out, but Mangrum got caught stealing to end the inning.
Fond du Lac added another in the fourth when Richard Constantine walked and came around to score on a bases-loaded groundout. The Dock Spiders then tacked on two more in the seventh as Carson Bartels singled and scored on an error and Chris Lund singled and scored on a groundout.
The Chucks finally broke through against Gunnar Kay in the eighth. Nolan Ryan led off with a single, his second base hit of the evening, and scored on a deep single to left by Mangrum to make it 8-1, but the Chucks tallied only five hits, and dropped a third consecutive match.
The Dock Spiders were anchored by dominant pitching, namely from starter Adam Eck. In his first start of the year, the lefty tossed six shutout innings, allowing only three hits and striking out nine and picking up the win. Armando Gonzalez was excellent in relief for Wisconsin, going 2.2 scoreless innings with three punchouts.
The Woodchucks have a quick turnaround as they are back in action tomorrow afternoon in Fond du Lac for a rematch with these Dock Spiders at 1:05 PM.
Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and the 2017 Northwoods League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, presented by Ascension. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.