WAUSAU (WAOW) - The Wisconsin Woodchucks clinched the second South Division playoff spot Monday night, by way of a 6-0 win at Athletic Park over the La Crosse Loggers. The ‘Chucks were aided by an absolutely phenomenal Andrew Klausmeier and Mitchell Beacom pitching performance, as the duo recorded a combined three-hit shutout.
The Woodchucks improved their record to 42-28 with the win, while just edging out the victorious Madison Mallards (41-29) for the second playoff seed. With the win, the ‘Chucks also set a new franchise record for total wins in a season.
Starting pitcher Andrew Klausmeier was the highlight of the night, as he pitched six innings of shutout baseball and pick up the win. Klausmeier allowed only two hits, two walks, and struck out four. Not enough can be said about the extraordinary development of Klausmeier's pitching savvy throughout the season. As the opening day starter, Klausmeier came in as a green, uncomfortable, and often erratic hurler. Woodchucks' fans tonight saw a seasoned NWL veteran who mowed down his opposition with confidence and swagger- not only in his first start since July 29th, but in the most important game of the season.
Brock Stassi backed up Klausmeier with what could be called the best Woodchuck's defensive play of the season. With one out in the fifth, La Crosse's Mick Doyle sent a scorching flyball to deep right field. While the ball would have fallen into the rightfield short-porch for a home run against most outfielders, Brock Stassi made an absolutely stunning play to rob Doyle of a homerun and keep the ‘Chucks lead at 2-0.
The ‘Chucks bats would only mash six hits on the night; but after being aided by five La Crosse errors, five walks issued, and two hit-by-pitches, went on to score six runs. Robbie De La Cruz got the ‘Chucks on the board in the fourth, as with one out and one on, he absolutely crushed a homer to deep right field. They'd add two more in the fifth, and add one in both the sixth and seventh innings. Chris Amezquita added two RBI and a double, while Brock Stassi chipped in an RBI off his own double.
Mitchell Beacom came on in the seventh inning, sporting a 5-0 lead. Beacom shut the door, notching the three inning save in dominating fashion. Beacom allowed only one baserunner off of a single, and recorded six of his nine outs via the strikeout.
The Woodchucks and Eau Claire Express will now play a best of three series to determine the South Division champion. The series will be of the away-home-away variety, with game 1 in Eau Claire Tuesday at 6:30pm. Game 2 will be at Athletic Park on Wednesday, beginning at 6:35.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release