LA CROSSE, WI – For the first
time in team history, the Dock Spiders (27-13) won the Wisconsin-Illinois East
Division in a 12-5 blowout against the Loggers (18-22) on Wednesday night.
Dock Spiders entered Wednesday’s contest on a four-game win streak and had put
up double-digit runs in each of the last four wins. The Loggers got off to a
great start to break that streak, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first
to take an early 3-0 lead.
du Lac would not let the lead last long, as they brought 13 batters to the
plate and exploded for eight runs in the third. For the third time in two
games, Tim Elko (University of Mississippi) belted
a home run to right-center field, a three-run missile that tied the game at
three. The long ball was his second three-run home run and ninth RBI in the
last two games.
Tanner Smith (University of Oregon) recorded
his second RBI of the year on a single to left to give Fond du Lac a 4-3 lead.
Dock Spiders were not done there; with two outs and the bases loaded, Caleb
Durbin (WashU) recorded his first home run of the season,
a grand slam to left-center field to continue the offensive onslaught and make
more runs scored for Fondy in the fifth inning to extend the lead and get to
double-digit runs. Smith, Bryan Javier (Campbellsville
University), who celebrated his 26th birthday on
Wednesday, and Sam Novitske (University of
Oregon) all reached, when Elko launched a line drive to
right field that was just a few degrees of launch angle away from the second
grand slam of the night. Instead, it went off the wall and scored a run for
Elko’s fourth RBI of the night. Javier and Novitske both came in to score on
wild pitches that put Fondy up 11-3.
du Lac added one final run in the eighth after Aaron Anderson (Liberty
University) started the inning with a crushed line-drive
double to left-center field, and eventually came in to score on a wild pitch
for the twelfth run of the game.
Crosse scored two runs in the final two innings, but the Dock Spiders’ pitching
wouldn’t allow the Loggers to get any closer as they coasted to a 12-5 win for
their fifth consecutive win and fifth consecutive game with at least 10 runs or
Jake Brooks (UCLA) pitched his fourth
start of the season and, following a rocky first inning, had a respectable
outing on the hill; in four innings and a third, Brooks struck out five batters
and kept the Loggers off the board for over three innings before leaving in the
fifth. He left with the lead to record his first win of the year. Ryan
Robison (Purdue University Fort Wayne) chucked three and
two-third innings while allowing just one run on two hits with four strikeouts. Ryan
Duffy (University of Minnesota) came in for the final
inning and did his job, striking out one and getting the win for Fondy.
the win, the Dock Spiders clinched the Wisconsin-Illinois Division title and
secured a playoff spot in what will be a home playoff game against either Green
Bay or Rockford on August 21.
Dock Spiders will have one more game on the road on Thursday night when they
take on the Woodchucks at 6:35 to try and record their sixth straight win.