Beetles win four of five
Down to their final out in the ninth, Beetle's shortstop Vance Albitz (UC-San Diego), drove a two-run double down the right field line, erasing a one-run deficit and pushing Alexandria past Thunder Bay 4-3. Albitz knocked in all four runs for the Beetles, finishing 3-5 at the plate with a double and two singles.
Matt Dwyer (Ripon) gave up the two-bagger after walking two batters to start the inning. Matt Miller (Michigan), who committed a run-producing error to give the 'Cats the lead in the eighth, threw a perfect ninth to earn the win.
Thunder Bay got the scoring started in the first against Mitch Handley (North Alabama). The right-hander walked two in the frame, and then gave up back-to-back RBI singles. Handley would recover in a hurry, working into the eighth with those same two runs on the scoreboard.
Alexandria countered with two in the top of the fifth. With two out and two in scoring position, Albitz delivered a clutch base hit rolled inside the third base bag.
The Beetles had plenty of chances to add runs in the game, but left nine runners stranded in the game.
In the eighth, Mitch Handley hit his second batter of the game and was relieved by Miller. With the go-ahead run at second base, AJ Schugel (Central Arizona CC) bounced one back to Miller who, after knocking it down behind the mound, threw errantly to first, allowing Cameron Smith (New Mexico) to come around and score.
Thunder Bay then went to Dwyer in the ninth and, after Jayson Langfels hit a pinch-hit flyout to center field, pinch-hitter Marcus Semien (Cal) and Mike O'Neill (USC) drew walks. After Sean Olenek (Mercer) flew out for the second out of the inning, Albitz drove a 1-1 pitch down the right field line, plating both runners.
Siwiec stellar in blowout win
Just three hours before the first pitch in Thunder Bay, Austen Siwiec (Valparaiso) found out he was the night's starting pitcher. Five innings later, and the second-year right-hander earned his third win of the season, as the Beetles pounded Thunder Bay 9-2. Colin Bear (Northwestern State), one start removed from a complete game victory over Brainerd, went five-plus innings in the losing effort. The lefty gave up seven hits and six runs (all earned) while walking two and striking out four.
Alexandria got on the board early, picking up four runs in the fourth. Tim Roberson (FGCU) hit his first homer of the season, a two-run blast over the left field wall. In the sixth, the Beetles added three more runs, two on a Chase Porch (North Alabama) triple.
After Thunder Bay answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth, the Beetles responded with two more runs in the eighth. Mike O'Neill (USC), in his first game at Port Arthur Stadium since winning the 2008 NWL title, walked and later scored on a wild pitch. Roberson added in another RBI with a base hit laced up the middle, plating Vance Albitz (UC-San Diego).
The run support was plenty for the pitching staff. Siwiec went the first five, walking three and giving up just two hits. Tyler McKendree (Flagler) gave up two runs in his two innings of relief, and Matt Fyffe (Eastern Kentucky) tossed a perfect eighth, before Kevin Vangheluwe (Michigan) closed the door in the ninth.
Late runs enough for win in Brainerd
Three runs in the sixth and four more in the eighth inning turned out to be just enough offense as the Beetles escaped Brainerd with a 7-4 win over the Lunkers. Keith Castillo (USC), Tim Roberson (FGCU) and Chase Porch (UNA) all doubled and Porch added in two RBI in the sixth. In the eighth inning the Beetles sent 10 to the plate, getting RBI hits from Mike O'Neill (USC) and Vance Albitz (UC-San Diego).
Erik Johnson (Cal-Berkeley) went six shutout innings in the starting role for the Beetles, finishing strong by striking out the side in the sixth inning.
Matt Miller (Michigan) gave up two runs in his two innings of relief, and Brendan Alvey (Navarro JC) got roughed up in the ninth, but escaped after allowing two runs and leaving the bases loaded with a game-ending strikeout.
After delay, Brainerd bests Beetles
On a stormy evening in Alexandria, the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers outlasted the Alexandria Beetles 5-2. Play was stopped after the sixth inning with the Lunkers leading 2-1, and after a 51-minute weather delay, play resumed.
Brainerd then proceeded to score two more insurance runs in the eighth, and the Beetles were left without an answer for the remainder of the game.
After the Lunkers plated a first inning run, the Beetles answered in the home half, getting a Vance Albitz (UC-San Diego) single to score Mike O'Neill (USC), who doubled to start the game.
In the fourth, with dark skies looming, the Beetles mounted their biggest threat of the night. Tim Roberson (FGCU) reached on an error, and after a Sean Olenek (Mercer) single, Brendan Alvery (Navarro JC) reached on the third Brainerd error of the game. Trevor Edwards (UNC-Greensboro) then drove in the go-ahead run with a single blooped down the right field line.
But that's where the scoring stopped.
Taylor Babich (Rhodes College) settled down, getting Jayson Langfels to ground to third base, cutting down a runner at the plate. Then O'Neill struck out swinging and Mikel Alvarez (FGCU) grounded out to end the threat.
Brainerd tied the game in the fifth, and took the lead for good in the sixth on a David Valesente (St. Joeseph's) home run.
After the weather delay, which saw strong winds and lightning, but little rainfall, Brainerd added two runs in the eighth off of Wes Patterson (UT-Martin).
Alexandria had their chances all evening long, but left eight runners in scoring position, including runners at second and third when the game ended.
Early runs pace Beetles past 'Cats
Nine runs in the first two innings paced the Beetles past the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Wednesday night, as Alexandria hung on for an 11-8 win. Bryce Uhrig (Pepperdine) tossed the first five innings for the Beetles in the winning effort; Christian Dekker (NW Missouri State) took the loss for Thunder Bay, lasting just 1.1 innings.
After the Border Cats plated a first inning run, the Beetles' offense responded with three in the bottom half of the first. In the second, the Beetles broke the game wide open. With one out, Wes Patterson (UT-Martin) drew a walk. Then, after a Mike O'Neill (USC) single and Mikel Alvarez (FGCU) walk loaded the bases, Vance Albitz (UC-San Diego) brought them all home with a bases clearing double.
Diallo Fon (Arizona) followed with an RBI single. Then, Keith Castillo launched his first home run of the season and his 15th of his Beetles career. With the blast, Castillo becomes the franchise record holder for home runs in a career.
With the Beetles atop 9-1, the Thunder Bay comeback began. In the fifth, the Cats scored twice off of Uhrig, getting an RBI double by A.J. Schugel (Central Arizona CC), followed by a David Phillips (Ole Miss) RBI single.
In the seventh, reliever Austen Siwiec (Valparaiso) ran into trouble, walking three of the first four batters, including a bases loaded walk. A double-play ball plated another run, and the 'Cats had cut the deficit to 11-5. In the eighth, Siwiec issued a lead-off walk on four pitches. Kevin Vangheluwe (Michigan) came on in relief and gave up an RBI single and RBI double to bring the game to 11-7.
In the ninth, Thunder Bay continued the comeback, drawing back-to-back one-out walks. After a popup for the second out, Garrett Totten (Texas Tech) blooped a base hit into right field, scoring another run.
Tyler McKendree (Flagler) had to enter for the save, and got pinch hitter Derek Hamblen (Belmont) to ground out to end the game.
ALEXANDRIA 000 020 002 4-9-1
THUNDER BAY 200 000 010 3-4-0
PITCHING - Mitch Handley 7.1IP-4H-3R-2ER-2BB-5SO; Matt Miller 1.2IP-0H-0R-0ER-0BB-3SO.
HITTING - Mike O'Neill 2 runs, 1bb; Vance Albitz 3-5, 4 rbi; Keith Castillo 2-4, 1bb; Tim Roberson 1-2, 1bb; Chase Porch 1-4; Trevor Edwards 1-4; Mikel Alvarez 1-2, 2 runs, 2bb.
ALEXANDRIA 000 403 200 9-11-0
THUNDER BAY 000 001 100 2-6-2
PITCHING - Austen Siwiec 5IP-2H-0R-034-3BB-0SO; Tyler McKendree 2IP-3H-2R-2ER-2BB-1SO; Matt Fyffe 1IP-0H-0R-0ER-0BB-0SO; Kevin Vanghleluwe 1IP-1H-0R-0ER-0BB-1SO.
HITTING - Mike O'Neill 1-4, 1 run, 1bb; Vance Albitz 2-4, 2 runs, 1 bb; Keith Castillo 1-5, 1 run; Tim Roberson 2-3, 2 runs, 3 rbi, 1bb; Chase Porch 2-3, 2 runs, 2 rbi; 1bb; Harry Austin 1-4, 1 run; Mikel Alvarez 1-4, 1 rbi; Wes Patterson 1-4.
ALEXANDRIA 000 003 040 7-8-1
BRAINERD 000 000 022 4-10-2
PITCHING - Erik Johnson 6IP-4H-0R-0ER-4BB-5SO; Matt Miller 3IP-2R-2ER-0BB-3SO; Brendan Alvey 1IP-3H-2R-2ER-4BB-1SO.
HITTING - Mike O'Neill 1-3, 1 rbi, 1bb; Josh Langfels 1-4, 1bb; Vance Albitz 1-4, 1 rbi, 1bb; Keith Castillo 2-4, 2 runs; Tim Roberson 2-5, 2 runs; Sean Olenek 1 run; Chase Porch 1-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; Marcus Semien 1 run, 1 bb; Wes Patterson 2 bb.
BRAINERD 100 011 020 5-9-3
ALEXANDRIA 100 100 000 2-11-2
PITCHING - Chase Porch, LP, 6IP-6H-3R-2ER-1BB-3SO; Wade Patterson 1.1IP-2H-2R-1ER-0BB-1SO; Tyler McKendree 1.2IP-1H-0R-0ER-0BB-0SO.
HITTING - Mike O'Neill 3-5, 1 run; Mikel Alvarez 1 bb; Vance Albitz 1-5, 1 rbi; Tim Roberson 1 run; Sean Olenek 2-4; Brendan Alvey 2-4; Trevor Edwards 2-3, 1 rbi; Josh Langfels 1-4.
THUNDER BAY 100 020 221 8-10-2
ALEXANDRIA 360 002 000 11-13-0
PITCHING - Bryce Uhrig, WP, 5IP-6H-3R-3ER-3BB-5SO; Austin Siwiec 2IP-1H-3R-3ER-4BB-0SO; Kevin Vangheluwe 1.2IP-3H-2R-2ER-2BB-3SO; Tyler McKendree 0.1IP-0H-0R-0ER-0BB-0SO.
HITTING - Mike O'Neill 1-4, 2 runs; Mikel Alvarez 1 run, 1bb; Vance Albitz 2-4, 3 runs, 4 rbi, 1bb; Diallo Fon 1-2, 1 run; Harry Austin 1-3, 1 run; Keith Castillo 4-4, 2 runs, 4 rbi, 1bb; Tim Roberson 2-2, 2 rbi, 1bb; Brendan Alvey 2-4; Wes Patterson 1 run, 1 bb.