For the second consecutive night, the Wisconsin Woodchucks erased a late deficit against the Kalamazoo Growlers, scoring two runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth en route to defeating the Growlers, 6-4, Wednesday night at Homer Stryker Field.
The Woodchucks (10-6) were led offensively by Northwoods League All-Star Paul DeJong, who finished 3-for-4 at the plate, including his league-leading and Woodchucks’ single-season record 14th home run of the year.
The Chucks’ third baseman’s long ball was a two-run shot to straight away right field in the first inning, spotting Wisconsin to a 2-0 advantage. Kalamazoo (4-10) tied it at 2-2 in the third inning, before Wisconsin used a DeJong bases-loaded walk to regain the lead, 3-2, in the fifth inning.
Against Woodchucks’ reliever Austin Orewiler in the seventh inning, Kalamazoo got a clutch two-out, two-run single from second baseman L.K. Thompson, giving them an ever-so-brief lead, 4-3.
Three batters into the eighth inning, the Chucks had tied it. DeJong led off and reached on an infield single, before first baseman Jake Scudder walked and left fielder Nate Mondou tied it with an RBI single to left. Three batters later, catcher Jack Klages drew another bases-loaded walk, which proved to be the game-winner as the Chucks took a 5-4 lead.
Mondou provided insurance with a sacrifice fly in the ninth, and the two run advantage was more than enough for relievers John Oltman and Max Ising, as the Creighton duo fired scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively, in closing out the victory.
Tim McElroy faced just one hitter, but induced a bases-loaded groundout to end Kalamazoo’s seventh inning and was credited with the win, improving to 3-2 on the year. Ising saved his 10th game.
In addition to DeJong’s 3-for-4 night, Scudder (2-for-4) and shortstop Ryan Howard (2-for-4) each tallied multi-hit performances for Wisconsin.
The Woodchucks return home on Thursday night, as they take on the Battle Creek Bombers in the first of two at Athletic Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 P.M. You can hear the game on Foxsports Radio AM1390 & FM 93.9.
Rest Of NWL Scores
La Crosse 9 Alexandria 1
Wisconsin Rapids 8 Lakeshore 2
Thunder Bay 4 Eau Claire 3
Battle Creek 5 Kenosha 2
Madison 6 Green Bay 3
Rochester 6 Mankato 3
Waterloo 11 St. Cloud 4
Willmar 9 Duluth 8