LA CROSSE, WI – The La Crosse Loggers have yet to lose a game of baseball that preceded a fireworks show. Because the Loggers do not have a home game on Tuesday, July 4th, they opted to celebrate the founding of our nation on Sunday night. Of course, any celebration of the United States must include fireworks. If the trend of wins on nights like this continues, I think we should have fireworks every night.
Scoring began in the bottom of the first. A hit-by-pitch, single, and walk loaded the bases for designated hitter Austin Smith (San Diego). Smith welcomed the Minot Hot Tots to Copeland Park by launching a home run toward the cabins in right field. There was no doubt about it as the ball left the bat. Before you knew it, the score was 4-0 in favor of the Lumbermen. Scoring continued into the second inning as with the bases loaded, two Logger batters walked to make the game 6-0.
The third inning would see both teams score one. In the Hot Tot half, Drew Woodcox advanced to first on an error. Karson Evans then hit a double to advance him to third before Damone Hale hit a sacrifice fly to bring Woodcox in. In the Logger half, Gable Mitchell (Iowa) and Mic Paul (LSU) both singled before Justin DeCriscio (San Diego) hit a single as well to drive in Mitchell. After three, the score was 7-1.
Flashing forward to the seventh, Mic Paul would single, then steal a base, then advance to third by wild pitch, then advance home on another wild pitch. Ben Zeigler-Namoa (Hawaii) would do something similar as he would walk, then steal second, then steal third, then score on a wild pitch. A walk of Austin Smith, a single by Michael Dixon (Concordia-Irvine), a double by Matthew Piotrowski (Cal State LA), and finally a single by Jack Collins (Long Beach State) would all combine to score three more. The Loggers had blown the game completely open. The score was 12-1 after seven.
The Hot Tots would put two more runs on the board before the game went final. One run would come in the eighth while the other came in the ninth on a solo home run by Tristan Moore. Ultimately though, the score came to rest at 12-3 as the Loggers beat the Hot Tots for the first time ever at Copeland Park. Fireworks followed the game much to everyone’s delight.
The Hot Tots fall to 7-24 while the Loggers improve to 12-21. Both teams are out of play for the postseason clinch in the first half of the season, but will be looking to improve once the records reset and the second half is underway. The Hot Tots will stick around in La Crosse to take on the Loggers on Monday at 6:35.