by Bryon Graff
WAUSAU (WAOW) - In a see-saw battle, the River Bats' run in the 7th inning proved to be the game-winner in a 5-4 contest against the Woodchucks at Athletic Park.
Online Reporter: Bryon Graff
Micah Schroeder, Director of Media Relations
St. Cloud Slips Past Wisconsin
WAUSAU, WI - July 8th 2009 - In a back and forth contest at Athletic Park, it was the St. Cloud River Bats (5-4) who came out on top as they defeated the Wisconsin Woodchucks (1-8) by a final score of 5-4 Sunday afternoon.
Both teams stormed out of the gates in this one as a bulk of the scoring came in the first inning. The River Bats scored the first two runs of the game as they registered four hits in the top of the first to grab a 2-0 lead.
The Woodchucks wasted no time responding to the River Bats early offense. Chad Wright (Kentucky) led off the bottom of the first with a walk and was followed by back-to-back doubles from Khayyan Norfork (Tennessee) and Brett Krill (UCLA) to even up the score at 2-2.
The River Bats would regain control of the lead in the top of the third as they took advantage of a pair of ‘Chucks errors in the frame and took the lead at 3-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, it was the Woodchucks who were on the comeback trail. In that inning, five straight ‘Chucks reached safely as Wright highlighted the inning with a two-run single to give Wisconsin their first lead of the game at 4-3.
The lead did not last for long though, as Nate Longmire ripped a solo home run in the top of the fifth to knot the game back up at 4-4.
The decisive run was scored in the top of the seventh inning by the River Bats. Jonathon Roof led off the inning with a walk, and after a couple of outs would advance to third. St. Cloud first baseman Zac Richard popped-up in the following at-bat, but it was dropped in the infield as Roof crossed the plate for what proved to be the game-winning run.
‘Chucks starter Kyle Gumieny (Southeast Missouri State) lasted eight innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eleven hits as he took the loss. River Bats starter Nick Sutherland lasted just 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and five walks. The River Bats bullpen combined to allow no runs and two hits in the final 5.2 as Drew Palen picked up the win and Xavier Esquivel recorded the save.\
Offensively, the Woodchucks got a pair of hits from Wright and Norfork, while Wright and Krill tallied a pair of RBIs in the loss. St. Cloud was led by Longmire's home run and a 3-for-4 day from Matt Summers.
The Woodchucks will now travel to Stevens Point for game two of the series which will take place at Bukolt Park at 7:05 pm tomorrow.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks are a member of the Northwoods League, a college wood bat summer league featuring players from across the country. Baseball America named the Northwoods League as one of the premier summer collegiate baseball leagues in the country. For group outing / ticket information contact the Woodchucks office at 715-845-5055 or visit the Woodchucks website at www.woodchucks.com