WAUSAU, Wis (Woodchucks-WSAU) The Wisconsin Woodchucks topped visiting Madison 9-4 Monday night at Athletic Park, as the ‘Chucks took game one of a three-game series.
The Woodchucks improved to 10-13, good for sixth place in the South Division, while the Mallards fell to 16-9, falling to second place against the inactive Express.
The Woodchucks got the ball rolling in the bottom of the first inning, as they’d get one off Mallards’ ace Rusty Shellhorn.
Danny Susdorf led off the inning with a comebacker single, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a Seth Batty sacrifice bunt, and scored as Carlos Escobar smashed a two-out double to centerfield.
‘Chucks starter Tyler Nurdin surrendered the lead in the second frame, as Willie Argo led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a Jordan Owen groundout, and scored on a Tyler Jones RBI single.
Tied 1-1 headed to the bottom of the third, the ‘Chucks would take the lead with an unearned run.
With one down, Danny Susdorf reached on a throwing error, advanced to second on a Seth Batty single, stole third during Mike Gerber’s at-bat, and then scored on a wild pitch during Carlos Escobar’s at-bat.
The Woodchucks threatened again in the fourth — getting two runners on base via consecutive walks — but were unable to break through and add on to their one-run lead.
Their luck would change in the fifth, however, as they would tack on another run off Shellhorn.
Robbie De La Cruz led off the inning with a single, and advanced to second on a Seth Batty single, before scoring on two wild pitches, making the score 3—1 in the Woodchucks’ favor.
Tyler Nurdin pitched a gem through the first six innings, allowing four singles, one walk, and only one run while striking out six.
Without a full contingent of pitchers on the roster and a double-header scheduled for the following day, Nurdin continued working into the seventh inning.
Boasting a two-run lead, Nurdin allowed leadoff hitter Jordan Owen to hit a solo homerun to left field, before allowing Jordan Owen to reach on a double, advance on a Nate Theunissen single, and score on a Andrew Barna sacrifice fly, tying the game 3-3.
With one on and one down, Trey Watkins took a walk, before Justin Parr took his place on a fielder’s choice— ending Nurdin’s night.
Ryan Iverson would come on in relief, and let Theunissen score unearned as Niko Fraser reached on an error, before Iverson would end the inning with a Justin Scanlon fly-out.
Rusty Shellhorn would call it a night headed into the seventh, as Dan Tobik came on in relief for the Mallards. Shellhorn ended the night allowing five hits, four walks and two earned runs, with five strikeouts through 6.2 innings pitched.
Down 4-3, the ‘Chucks would take the lead back off Dan Tobik in the seventh, taking both starters off the hook for a decision.
Seth Batty would reach on a one-out walk, and score on a hit-and-run, as Mike Gerber scorched a double in the following at-bat.
The go-ahead runner, Gerber, would advance to third on a wild pitch in the following at-bat, before scoring on another wild pitch, becoming the third Woodchucks’ runner to score on an errant deliver two batters later.
After Ryan Iverson cut down the Mallards in order in the eighth, the ‘Chucks would hang a crooked number in their half of the eighth, scoring four, to put the game out of reach, up 9-4.
Ryan Iverson (3-0) took the win, throwing 2.1 innings, allowing only two hits and one walk, while striking out five.
Dan Tobik (1-1) assumed the loss, allowing three runs to score in one-plus inning of work.
The Woodchucks and Mallards will meet Tuesday night in Madison, as the two teams are scheduled to play a seven-inning doubleheader, with the first game beginning at 5:05 p.m., and the second game to follow 30 minutes following game one’s conclusion.
Rest Of NWL Scores
Green Bay 6 Battle Creek 5
Wisconsin Rapids 8 Waterloo 7
Brainerd 2 Rochester 1
Mankato 5 Thunder Bay 0
Duluth 6 St. Cloud 5
Willmar 6 Alexandria 5