la crosse—August 14, 2012—The
Wisconsin Woodchucks and La Crosse Loggers needed 11 innings in La Crosse to
decide the victor of Game 2 of the Northwoods League South Division playoff
series, but it would be the Loggers who took the 8-7 victory, ending the
Woodchucks' 2012 season.
The Woodchucks would jump on the Loggers early in the first for the second consecutive evening. Madison Carter led the ballgame off with a base hit up the middle, and Brooks Braga followed that up with a double off the right-field wall to put two in scoring position with no outs. The next two batters, Eric Filia-Snyder and Brendon Hayden would both groundout, receiving RBI's as they drove in Carter and Braga respectively, giving the Woodchucks a 2-0 lead.
The Loggers wasted no time in countering the Woodchuck offense. After Woodchuck starter and Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year Jack Fischer recorded the first out, the next four Loggers would reach. Fischer walked Matt Chapman and allowed a double to Kevin Kramer. Rich Prigatano would then single to left field and bring home Chapman to make it a 2-1 game. With Kramer on third, Bobby Juan would also single, tying the game at two. The Loggers would proceed to take a 3-2 lead on a groundout by Brandon Bednar, touching Fischer up in the first.
After both starters exchanged zeroes in the second, the ‘Chucks would take the lead back in the third. With two outs, Hayden homered to left field, his fifth home run of the season, four of which have come at the Lumberyard in La Crosse. The next batter was Fischer, who was both pitching and batting fifth. Fischer singled in front of a double by John Roberts. Fischer rounded third and headed toward home as left fielder Joe Meggs's throw came in. Fischer dove head first into home, beating the throw, and giving the Woodchucks a 4-3 lead as he pumped his fists toward the ‘Chuck dugout.
The lead would not last long, however, as the Loggers struck again in the third. Lead-off batter Chapman hit a frozen rope over the left field wall for a home run off of Fischer, tying the game up at four runs apiece.
The game would stay tied up at four until the seventh inning when the Woodchucks would take the lead without recording a base hit. Jacob Dorris, All-Star reliever for the Loggers plunked both Bryant Munoz and Filia-Snyder and walked Braga and Hayden, Hayden's walk coming with the bases loaded to bring in a run. The third out in the inning came when Braga was thrown out trying to steal home, but the Woodchucks still led 5-4.
After Ben Burke put down the Loggers 1-2-3 in the seventh, the Woodchucks would double their lead in the eighth. Roberts, a pitcher at Iowa Western, hit a fly ball over the right field wall for a solo home run to give the Woodchucks a 6-4 lead as his teammates spilled out of the dugout to congratulate him.
The ‘Chucks would tack on some insurance in the ninth with some small ball. Carter walked to lead off the inning and then stole second with Braga at the plate. Braga bunted, putting Carter on third with one out. Filia-Snyder hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Carter and give the Woodchucks a 7-4 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
After scoring nine runs in the ninth on Monday, the Loggers would hurt the Woodchucks again in the same inning, this time tying the game up. The first four batters all reached, the third a single by Brandon Bednar that scored Rich Prigatano. With the bases loaded and no outs, Joe Meggs hit a slow grounder toward Carter at short. Carter relayed to Pascal Paul, the second baseman, for the force there, but Paul's relay to first was wild, allowing a second run to score and tie the ballgame up at seven.
The game would need extra innings to decide the victors. With the bases loaded and no outs in the eleventh for the Loggers, the Woodchucks would pull Braga in from right field to be a fifth infielder. Jimmy Bosco hit a line-drive towards left, scoring Juan from third, giving the Loggers the win and ending the Woodchucks' season.
The Loggers will represent the South Division in the Summer Collegiate World Series as they will face the champions of the North Division.