The Wisconsin Woodchucks battled back from a three-run deficit in the eighth to tie the ballgame up, but the Madison Mallards took the victory on a walk-off single by Jacob Reese in the bottom of the ninth, 7-6.
After Woodchuck starter Bex Trout and Mallard starter Trevor Foss both threw scoreless first innings, the Woodchucks would open the scoring in the second. Lead-off batter Joe Serrano hit a frozen rope over the left field wall for his first home run of the season putting the ‘Chucks up 1-0.
In the third inning, Brooks Braga hit a ground ball in the hole towards shortstop Greg Rhude, Rhude threw towards first, but Braga beat it out for a two-out infield single. Braga would advance to second on a wild pitch in front of a walk to Eric Filia-Snyder. With Braga on second and Filia-Snyder on first, Brendon Hayden singled to left field, scoring Braga, and giving the Woodchucks a 2-0 lead.
Bex Trout cruised through his two and two-thirds innings for the ‘Chucks, but ran into bad luck with two outs in the third. With two down, Derek Fisher broke his bat on a pitch by Trout, grounding a ball towards first that snuck past Hayden for a base hit. Nicholas Howard stepped in and hit a ground ball towards Serrano at second base. Serrano tried to shovel a pass to Hayden from his glove, but the pass was wide of the bag, allowing Howard to reach. The next batter, Jeff Zimmerman, hit a seeing-eye single back up the middle just past Madison Carter's glove at short, bringing home Fisher and cutting the Woodchucks lead to one run. Mike Reuvekamp then lined a ball to left for a double, scoring Howard and tying the game at two runs apiece. Trout would then uncork a wild pitch to the backstop, scoring Zimmerman from third and putting the Mallards up by a run.
With the ‘Chucks trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Hayden would come through yet again. With Braga on second and Filia-Snyder on first, Hayden singled to right, scoring Braga, tying the ballgame, and giving Hayden his team-leading 50th RBI of the season.
In the fifth, the Mallards would take the lead back. After Trout threw a ball before time had been put back in play, Fisher and Zimmerman were granted third and second base respectively. Reuvekamp then singled to right, scoring bother runners and giving the Mallards a 5-3 lead.
With the lead still at two, Howard led the seventh inning off with a base hit. He then stole second base and went to third on a groundout by Zimmerman. Reuvekamp then flew out to left field, scoring Howard and extending the Mallard lead to three runs.
In the eighth, the Woodchucks would storm right back to tie the ballgame up late. With runners on first and second and two outs, Jackson Lowery singled up the middle to drive in Joe Luvisi. Lowery, a right-handed pitcher from Arkansas came through as the designated hitter for the ‘Chucks with the huge hit and would later score the tying run on a two-run single by Madison Carter that also scored Nic Barnes.
The game would head to the bottom the eighth, still knotted up at six. With the bases loaded and one out, Jacob Reese would hit a pinch-hit single through the right side, scoring Howard, and giving the Mallards the walk-off 7-6 victory.
The Woodchucks will head back to Wausau for two consecutive games at Athletic Park. They will first wrap up the three game series with the Mallards Sunday evening with first pitch at 5:05. On Monday, the Woodchucks will host the La Crosse Loggers in Game 1 of the Northwoods League 2012 playoffs sponsored by Trigs. It is a best-of-three series with Game 2 in La Crosse and Game 3 also in La Crosse if necessary.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Woodchucks
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