New Faces Pitch in Game 72 Defeat
MADISON, Wis – In their regular season finale Saturday night, the Wausau Woodchucks were defeated 9-3 by the Madison Mallards.
The Woodchucks finish their regular season with a record of 38-33. With last night’s clinching victory, the Woodchucks already qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2014. They have completed back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2008.
Most of the offense came early in Saturday’s contest in front of a sellout crowd at Warner Park.
The Woodchucks grabbed the lead thanks to an RBI single by Bradley Comer (UW-Stevens Point) in the top of the first.
Korey Bunselmeyer (Illinois) worked two innings in his first and final start of the summer. He allowed two runs and three hits, striking out two and getting help from a Dwight Allen (Georgia) outfield assist.
The Woodchucks tied the game in the third when a bloop single by Travis Stapleton (Polk State) plated Allen. But the Mallards re-took the lead with a two-run inning in the bottom half.
In the fourth, the Woodchucks scored a run on a groundout by Maurice Gomez (Keiser) which allowed Drew Stengren (Central Michigan) to score.
But the Mallards would pull away in the bottom of the inning, thanks in large part to a three-run homer by Chad McCann (Campbellsville). Dylan Ackermann (Loras) was the losing pitcher for Wausau, allowing six runs (five earned) over two innings. When he left the game, Madison led 8-3.
Neither team would score again until the eighth inning. Relievers Christian Orr (Columbia International) and Logan Snow (Menlo) fired scoreless frames before Tyler Cox (Eckerd) made his debut outing on the mound. The two-way player had exclusively hit and played third base over his previous 18 Woodchuck appearances.
Garret Hill (North Dakota State) pitched for the first time in his collegiate career in the eighth, surrendering one run. Manager Corey Thompson elected to save the rest of his bullpen for the upcoming playoff series against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
Tomorrow, they’ll face off against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in Game 1 of a best-of-three series. The Woodchucks were 2-10 against the Rafters this summer, but no team has been hotter in the month of August than the Woodchucks – who are 9-3 since the calendar turned.
The Woodchucks return to Athletic Park, taking on the Rafters in Game One of the sub-divisional round of the Northwoods League Playoffs. First pitch is at 5:05 p.m. and gates open at 4:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at https://northwoodsleague.com/wausau-woodchucks/