The Dock Spiders capped off
their incredible 2020 season with a 14-3 victory over the La Crosse Loggers on
Saturday night to win the Wisconsin-Illinois Northwoods League Pod Championship
and secure their second title in the last three years.
like Friday’s division matchup against the Booyah, the Dock Spiders had to
battle from behind in Saturday’s game after the Loggers took a 2-0 lead in the
first inning. They would add their third and final run two innings later in the
third inning to put Fondy down 3-0.
third inning on, it was all Dock Spiders. Caleb Durbin (Washington University in
St. Louis) started the scoring for Fondy with a single to
center. Aaron Anderson (Liberty University) continued
his strong 2020 campaign at the plate and brought home Durbin on a center-field
single of his own to draw Fondy to within two. Tanner Smith (University of
Oregon) then brought the game to a 3-3 tie after launching
a double into the right-center field gap that scored Anderson from first base.
atmosphere in Fond du Lac was crazy in the third, then fourth was just as
incredible, as the Dock Spiders scored three more runs, all with two outs, to
take a commanding three-run lead. With runners at the corners and two out, Matt
Bottcher (University of Illinois-Chicago) broke the tie
with a smash hit up the middle to put Fondy up 4-3. Durbin grounded to short,
but a wild throw to first sailed over the head of the Loggers first baseman and
into the dugout that brought home another two runs to make it 6-3.
two came in to score in the fifth inning after Sam Novitske (University of
Oregon) belted a line drive into right-center field to
make it a five-run lead.
Spiders scored in their fourth consecutive inning after Smith added another RBI
to his name on a sacrifice fly to bring in Durbin and make it a 9-3 ballgame.
Lac brought it all together and continued the offensive onslaught in the eighth
inning after they put up five runs in their final at-bats. Smith scored on a
bases-loaded ground ball to the right side to put the Dock Spiders into double
digits. Novitske added to his incredible night at the plate with a hit to right
to bring home another run and cap off his 4-for-6, three-RBI night. Durbin was
hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to plate another, and Anderson kept it
rolling with a single to left to also give him his third RBI of the game and
round out a fantastic second season.
expected, Theo Denlinger (Bradley University) made
the walk from the bullpen to the mound as chants of “THEO” wrang out from the
over 500 fans in attendance in Fondy. As he had done all season long, Denlinger
recorded the final three outs of the ballgame with ease to secure the 14-3 win
and cement the Dock Spiders in Northwoods League history once again, and give
them the 2020 Wisconsin-Illinois Pod Championship.
Sankey (North Dakota State University), who signed his
contract just before game time, was the first to come out of the bullpen, and
he was lights out. In just over five innings, Sankey allowed only one run on
two hits to keep La Crosse within reach before the Dock Spiders offense came to
life. In his one and only game, Sankey received the win. Chris
Aldrich (UCLA) tossed one scoreless inning while facing
the minimum in that lone frame, which set up Ryan Duffy (University of
Minnesota), who, with his makeshift captain’s patch on his
Carolina blue jersey, struck out two batters in the eighth in his final outing
on the mound.
Sam Novitske and Aaron Anderson finished the season with a combined average of
.326 and came together to record a total of 64 RBI and 19 doubles. The offense
for Fond du Lac was the best in the Northwoods League, finishing the regular
season with a team batting average of .287.
Spiders finished the season with a record of 33-17 and secured their second
championship in their young four years of existence.
to thank all of our Fondy Faithful for the unparalleled amount of support
you’ve all given us in the 2020 season. It was a very strange and different
summer, but we would not have been able to get this far and have the season we
had if we did not have this loyal fanbase with us. Thank you for coming out to
Herr-Baker Field at Marian University all season long and for being the best
fans in the Northwoods League!