(WAUSAU) - Scoring six runs over the sixth and seventh innings, the La Crosse Loggers rode a four-hit performance by their pitching staff en route to a 7-1 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
After winning four games in a row and ascending into second place headed to the All-Star break, the ‘Chucks dropped their first two games following the break, falling into fifth place. The Loggers, who came into the series in the South Division's third spot, now sit in first place.
With the win, the Loggers swept the two-game home set at Athletic Park, and took a 5-2 lead in the season series with three games remaining at Copeland Park in La Crosse.
Allowing only six hits and one run the night prior, the Loggers allowed the Woodchucks to produce only one run off just four hits Thursday. Wisconsin, on the contrary, allowed 20 runs off 31 hits in the two-game home series.
After two relatively uneventful innings, the visiting Loggers broke through off ‘Chucks starter Nick Greene with one run in the third. Mike Reeves led off the frame with a double, scoring two at-bats later as Jimmy Brennan hit a double of his own to give La Crosse the early lead. The next two batters hit back-to-back singles, before Nick Greene recorded consecutive strikeouts to strand the bases loaded.
The Loggers enjoyed a strong starting performance for a second consecutive night, as Erik Schoenrock followed up Wednesday's starter Brando Tessar with a no-hitter through four innings to start the game.
Schoenrock, however, wasn't flawless in the early going, as he issued four base-on-balls over the first three innings, allowing a runner into scoring position in the third.
With one out in the fifth inning, Robbie De La Cruz ended the no-hitter with a seeing-eye single to right, and was followed by a Brian Carroll walk — before Schoenrock again ended the scoring threat.
Nursing a 1-0 lead, La Crosse put together another two-out rally in the sixth to widen the lead behind their tough lefty starter.
Jimmy Bosco and Trevor Brown hit consecutive two-out singles to chase Greene, who gave way to Ryan Iverson — who fared no better — allowing two consecutive doubles to Mike Reeves and Tyler Smith to give the Loggers a four-run lead.
Greene ended his night allowing three runs, seven hits and one walk through five-and-two-thirds innings, striking out six.
Facing a four-run deficit, Jamie Bruno hit a one-out double in the sixth inning off Schoennrock, which was followed up by a Kyle DeMerritt walk. Reaching 100 pitches — only 53 of which were strikes — the Loggers elected to call on reliever Jordan Haseltine, who induced a groundout in his first at-bat, but allowed the Woodchucks their first run of the night on a wild pitch in the following at-bat.
Notching his seventh win of the season, Schoenrock allowed one run, two hits and five walks through five-and-one-third innings, while striking out nine batters. With the win, Schoenrock tied Ryan Iverson for the league lead in wins.
Iverson allowed the Loggers to post a crooked number again in the seventh, giving La Crosse a commanding six-run lead after allowing a three-run homerun to Andrew Knapp, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Jake Long, the brother of ‘Chucks assistant coach Ben Long, made his Woodchucks debut in the eighth, retiring six straight batters on only 15 pitches.
Jordan Haseltine and Harrison Cooney combined to finish out the game for the Loggers, allowing only two hits and one walk over the last three-and-two-third innings.
The Woodchucks will now play host to the Waterloo Bucks — who are expected to come in tied for first place with the Loggers — for a three game series at Athletic Park. Jordan Luvisi (0-6) will take the mound with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Fireworks and Chevy Night.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Woodchucks