Woodchucks Drop Season Opener in Fondy
Fond du Lac, WI – On Northwoods League opening Day Monday afternoon, the Wausau Woodchucks fell by a final score of 11-2 at the hands of the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.
The Spiders started fast by scoring two runs in their first four at-bats. But after the early trouble, Woodchucks starter DJ Radtke (Georgia) settled in and kept the game close.
Radtke worked around five hits and five walks over four-plus innings, striking out six and relying heavily on his fastball.
With a runner on base in the bottom of the fifth, reliever Mike Reagan (Barry) came in and closed out the scoreless frame, keeping the Woodchuck deficit at 2-0.
But it wouldn’t last. The Dock Spiders bats caught fire in the sixth, scoring seven runs and putting the game out of reach.
Jace Baumann halted the damage by stranding runners in scoring position before pitching the rest of the way. His final line included two runs allowed over two-plus innings. In making this appearance, Baumann became the first Woodchuck to pitch in four consecutive seasons.
The Woodchucks generated some traffic on the basepaths and tallied 11 hits, but were unable to come up with the clutch moments necessary to do meaningful damage. A series of potential rallies were thwarted by three double plays, turned in consecutive innings by the Dock Spider defense.
In the ninth, Ryan Blanchard (Feather River) drove in Tim Conway (North Georgia) to score the team’s first run of the season. The next batter Ike Mezzenga (NIACC) roped an RBI double, driving in Blanchard and bringing the score to its eventual final, 11-2.
The Woodchucks return home for the next four days, hosting Fond du Lac in their home opener and series finale tomorrow at 6:35 p.m, with gates opening an hour prior to first pitch. The Woodchucks host the Lakeshore Chinooks and Green Bay Booyah the rest of the week.
The Wausau Woodchucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 28th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, over 280 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com. For more information, visit woodchucks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rockers as your favorite team.
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