By Sean Giggy
(WAOW) - The road has been kind to the Woodchucks so far this season. More than half the Chucks' wins have come away from Athletic Park, helping them to a one-game lead in the south division.
The team right behind them is Lacrosse and both teams finishing up a three game series Sunday night.
The Woodchucks (15-10) struggled to keep the Loggers (14-10) from scoring in Sunday evening's rubber match and dropped the contest 8-5. The Woodchucks offense battled back from multiple deficits, but the Loggers were always quick to respond, and La Crosse pulled to within half a game in the division.
The Woodchucks led early as Rob Lind led off the game with a walk off Logger starter matt Flemer and scored on Chris Amezquita's sacrifice fly. The Woodchucks left the bases loaded in that inning, and the Loggers came back immediately with three of their own in the first, all off starter Don Lisi. The big hit for La Crosse came with two outs, when Seth Mejias-Brean knocked in two with his single to center.
The Woodchucks battled back, as Travis Whitmore hit a home run to dead center field in the third to cut the lead to 3-2, and Brock Stassi doubled and scored in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. Again, the Loggers came back immediately when Mike Marjama drove home Mike Reeves with two outs in the fourth to retake the lead 4-3. These runs were charged to Lisi, who finished with 4+ innings pitched, allowing 4 runs and 9 hits.
Eric Fritz (0-1) entered for the Chucks and calmed the Loggers bats until they added one more in the seventh to lead 5-3. In the Chucks half of the 8th, Ryan Fleming strode to the plate and took a 3-0 pitch from Trent Alianic out to right-center to tie the ballgame at 5-5. It was Fleming's second home run of the series and his fourth and fifth runs batted in.
But in the bottom half of the inning, Fritz allowed three hits and three unearned runs, and the ‘Chucks trailed 8-5. Madison Boer (1-0) struck out the side in the ninth to ice the game for the Loggers. Boer finished with 4 strikeouts and retired all 5 hitters he faced while earning the win.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Woodchucks
Online reporter: Sean Giggy