Collins outduels Hanson in 2-1 Dock Spider win
On Wednesday night, the Wisconsin Woodchucks put up 10 runs on 14 hits in a 12-inning game that lasted nearly four hours and 20 minutes. On Thursday night, the Woodchucks managed just a single run on nine hits in a blisteringly-quick affair with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders that lasted just two hours and 20 minutes. Both starting pitchers performed very well, but Wisconsin’s (23-33; 8-13) surrendered two runs, which was the difference in a 2-1 Fond du Lac (27-29; 11-9) win Thursday night at Athletic Park.
Each team put three total runners on base in the first three innings, but neither could score until the fourth. Luke Mangieri led off with a single and Nick Fortes replaced him on a fielder’s choice. The Fondy catcher got to second on a balk and stole third before Aaron Goecks singled him home to make it 1-0 Dock Spiders.
Wisconsin put two runners on in the fourth on a pair of singles and loaded the bases with a single, a walk and a hit by pitch, but couldn’t score either time. Shortly after, Fond du Lac extended its lead. Andrew Bullock led off the sixth with a single and Brandon Wulff followed with a walk. Mangieri flew out to deep left to allow Bullock to advance to third, and Fortes followed with a fly to left of his own to bring Bullock home and make it 2-0 Dock Spiders.
Drew Hanson came back out and tossed a one-two-three seventh to cap off his second quality start of the summer. He allowed just two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts, and his seven-inning performance was the second-longest start by a Chuck this year. But his counterpart was just a little bit better. Rebounding from his roughest start of the year, Jack Collins shut out the Chucks over six innings on six hits with two walks and five punchouts for his third quality start of the summer.
But Wisconsin has not yet been shut out this year, and that trend continued Thursday. Zach Bryant came in to reliever Collins and he sent the Chucks down in order in the seventh but he got into trouble in the eighth. With one out, Stevie Mangrum and Logan Foster singled to put two men aboard before Yeager Taylor cranked a double into the right field gap to score Mangrum and get Wisconsin within one. Foster was held at third and the next batter flew out to end the threat.
Jake Gross threw two scoreless innings in relief for the Chucks, but Fond du Lac sent Connor Johnson, an All-Star selection due to his work as a starter, out to finish the job. True to form, the lefty struck out two Chucks in the ninth to tally his second save of the season and clinch the 2-1 Dock Spider win.
Wisconsin dropped all four games at Athletic Park to Fond du Lac this year, but has won two of three thus far at Herr-Baker Field. Payton Coffman will lead the Chucks as they try to rebound and keep their playoff hopes alive Fridaynight, with first pitch at 6:35 PM.
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