Opening up a three-game series with the La Crosse Loggers, the Wisconsin Woodchucks looked to capitalize early by picking up wins that will better the ‘Chucks overall record at 23-19, and chase after the 30-12 record held by the Loggers.
The Woodchucks would capitalize when all was said and done picking up their seventh win of the second half of the season, and their 24th win of the season in walk off fashion when Skyler Ewing would cross home on a pass ball winning 8-7.
"These games are not different from any other games. In the grand scheme of things, they are ahead of us overall, so we want to get ahead early, and attack their bullpen early," said head coach Erik Supplee.
In retrospect, with a win, the Woodchucks will continue their reign on top the division in the second half of the season.
Woodchuck's own Brendon Hayden would take the mound Friday evening, taking on a team with moderate power, and batting .261 as a whole, while the Logger's own TJ Kendzora would get the start against the recently hot hitting Woodchucks. Hayden would strike out three, and give up three, including a two run home run Friday night in four innings pitched. However, Max Ising would pick up the win.
However, the Loggers would grab the first run early off a Richard Prigatano double that would score Joe Meggs from second base, just skipping over the third base bag that would leave the Woodchucks in question, debating the "fair ball" call on the field.
The Woodchucks would tie the game in the bottom of the second inning off of a single by Brad McKewon, scoring Skyler Ewing, who singled earlier in the inning. With runners on the corners, Jake Peter singled for the go-ahead run, as Madison Carter would come in to score.
The Woodchucks would rack up another run when Mike Bernal singled up the middle scoring, Brad McKewon as the fourth single of the inning would account for the three runs scored in the second inning.
It wasn't before long though, that the Loggers would tie the game back up. Jimmy Bosco would blast a two run homerun to straight away center field in the third inning scoring Richard Prigatano.
The Woodchucks would go up a run with a Jake Jelmini single to score J.D. Davis in the bottom of the third inning with only one out and two base runners in scoring position. A wild pitch got the best of Matt Chapman as the ball rolled back far enough to score Skyler Ewing for the 5-3 lead.
Jimmy Bosco would strike again in the fifth inning, adding another RBI to his game when he doubled to deep center field scoring Bobby Juan with two outs making it a 5-4 game.
The Woodchucks were up 5-4, but they wanted some more, and that's what they got in the bottom of the fifth inning, with bases loaded, Jake Peter would ground out to second base, and Skyler Ewing would cross to go up by two runs heading into the sixth inning.
The Woodchucks would collect another run in the seventh inning off of a Brad McKewon groundout to third base as Madison Carter crossed home after his stand-up triple to deep center field. The score after seven innings would increase to 7-4.
Just when it looked like the game was slipping out of the hands of the La Crosse Loggers, third baseman Kevin Kramer took reliever Jackson Lowery yard for his second home run of the year, and the second home run in the game, to close the gap to just one point with an inning left to play.
Things would get worse for Woodchucks fans in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, pinch runner for Joe Meggs, Boomer Collins would move to second base on a pass ball, and set up for the tying run with one out. Richard Prigatano would come to the plate and with a 2-2 count would slice the ball to the outfield shallow enough for short stop Mike Bernal to lay out and grab saving a run. With two gone however, Jimmy Bosco, who was three for five with a homerun, a double, and a single would single scoring Boomer Collins to tie the game sending it in to the bottom of the ninth.
Woodchucks went into the bottom of the ninth with four walk offs this season, and Friday night was no exception. Skyler Ewing started things off, getting hit by a pitch that would put the walk off run on the bases. Jacob Jelmini, on the first pitch belted one to deep center field that would bring around Ewing to third base in scoring position, and Jelmini with a stand-up double.
A hit wouldn't be needed as a pass ball got by the Loggers catcher Matt Chapman scoring Skyler Ewing for the fifth walk off of the year in a wild pitch fashion!
The Woodchucks would improve to 7-1 in the second half of the season, still in first place in the Northwoods League Division South. Game two will be played Saturday night at Athletic Park at 6:35.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Sports Information