Wausau - The Wisconsin Woodchucks took game one of their three-game set with La Crosse Saturday night, 6—4, snapping the Loggers' three-game winning streak, and notching their second consecutive victory.
Woodchucks' Nick Greene took the win, improving the ‘Chucks to 4—6, while Loggers' reliever Trevor Teykl took the loss, moving La Crosse to 5—6.
The visiting Loggers started the game with a leadoff homer, as Trent Copeland took a 3—2 pitch from ‘Chucks starter Tyler Nurdin just over the fence in left-center field, giving the Loggers and early lead.
Nurdin would recover, retiring six straight batters, before allowing the Loggers to strike again and post three runs in the third inning. Juliene Jones and Kyle Mossbarge hit consecutive singles to start the inning, where they'd be followed by a Trent Copeland walk, and a two-RBI double by Corey LaVier — before a run-scoring Thomas McCarthy groundout would make the score 4—0, Loggers.
As the ‘Chucks gave up an early lead at home, it looked like their Athletic Park struggles would continue. However, the ‘Chucks arms would tighten up, and their lumber finally broke through on a team .182 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Working against Loggers' starter Jake Stassi — the younger brother of former Woodchuck Brock Stassi — Merrill native Alex Grunenwald started the third inning with a single, as he'd move to third on a groundout and a subsequent Kyle Secciani single, before scoring on an Austin Coleman hit.
The ‘Chucks would continue to chip away on the now 4—1 lead in the fourth inning, as Carlos Escobar Jr. lead off with a booming double off the right-field fence, before coming home on a two-out Alex Grunenwald single — his second of the night — to make the score 4—2, Loggers.
As Nurdin settled in on the mound and worked scoreless through the fourth and fifth, the ‘Chucks tied up the game in the fifth, as Carlos Escobar Jr. hit his second double of the night to score Garrett Yrigoyen and Austin Coleman, who reached earlier on a single and a Juliene Jones fielding error.
Tied up 4—4, Woodchucks newcomer Nick Greene replaced Nurdin on the mound and come out strong, allowing only one base runner in his first two innings of work.
As Greene was working through his first Northwoods League appearance, the ‘Chucks scored two off of Loggers' reliever Trevor Teykl, as Kyle Secciani led off the inning with a single — moving over to second on Garrett Yriogyen sacrifice — and scoring on an Austin Coleman double.
With one down and one on, Shain Stoner reached on an error, bringing up Carlos Escobar Jr., who would hit his third consecutive double— making the score 6—4, ‘Chucks.
Greene was brilliant in his Woodchucks debut, going four strong innings — allowing a mere two hits and one walk — while striking out four, and taking the win.
The Woodchucks — who came in batting only .227 on the season — manufactured six runs off of 11 hits and two La Crosse fielding errors.
While both Loggers' errors led to Woodchucks runs, the ‘Chucks' defense looked sharp, making few fielding blunders and committing no errors — after committing several errors and playing out of sync during the last home stand, using a similar defensive lineup.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Sports Information