WAUSAU, Wis (WSAU-Woodchucks) The Wisconsin Woodchucks pulled off one of the most dramatic and stunning games of not only the entire season, Wisconsin Woodchucks history. Not only did the ‘Chucks get their second consecutive 10th inning walk-off win, but came back from a 10-0 deficit to retain their second half playoff spot.
One of the most remarkable and gut-wrenching games one could dream up, the game stands next to Lance Broadway and Bobby Pritchet’s no-no’s, and championship games from ’01 and ’03 as one of the most memorable and exciting games played in Woodchucks history.
1467 fans showed up to watch game two of the three game home series, but a good portion of the crowd filed out after the ‘Chucks fell behind 10-0 after the top of the fourth inning. The Woodchucks faithful got one heck of a show, as they witnessed the ‘Chucks move ahead to 21-10 and retain their playoff positioning.
After striking first for one run off ‘Chucks starter Brock Stassi in the second inning, bad luck, poor defense, and ineffective pitching allowed the visiting Bucks to hang an 8 on the right field scoreboard in the third inning. Waterloo’s eight runs in the fourth inning were scored off of only three hits and two walks. A passed ball strikeout in the dirt, a hit batsmen, a dropped foul ball, and a throwing error helped propel the surge, which coupled with another run scored in the top of the fourth made the score 10-0.
If there were a textbook way to comeback from a 10 run deficit, the ‘Chucks executed it perfectly. The deficit was steadily nibbled away at as the night went on, as scores of 2-2-1-1-2-4-1 were posted innings 4 through 10.
Going into the bottom of the eighth inning, the ‘Chucks had six outs to score six runs. A two out rally in the bottom of eighth saw Rob Lind hit a single, followed by a Travis Whitmore RBI double and a Pat Terry RBI single to make the score 12-8 heading into the ninth.
After reliever Andrew Klausmeier mowed down the Bucks in the ninth, the stage was set for one of the greatest comebacks in league history. Sharp led off the inning with a double, and came home via a Robbie De La Cruz single. After Eric Fritz flew-out deep centerfield, Kevin Pillar hit a bloop single to put the tying run at the plate.
In one of the most clutch at-bats of the season, Rob Lind hit a game-tying three home run to deep center field, electrifying the remaining Woodchucks crowd and tying the game 12-12.
Heading into the bottom of the tenth inning, Brian Sharp would score the winning walk-off run for the second consecutive night. Sharp hit a one out single, before stealing second on the very next pitch. Following a Robbie De La Cruz flyout to deep right field, Eric Fritz was the man of the hour, sending Sharp home on an RBI single to end the game and culminate one of the greatest victories in Woodchucks’ history.
The comeback can be seen in its entirety at www.northwoodsleague.tv, with the eight and ninth inning occurring around the 3:15-3:30 mark.
The final game of the home series takes place Friday night at Athletic Park, featuring Jordan Luvisi against Taylor Massey. The game is on Fox Sports 1390-AM.