Mankato, MN — The Rox were down to their final strike of the 2017 season in the 9th inning. Trailing 2-1 and with the tying run on 3rd, they found a way to make a clutch play. Ricardo Sanchez (Arkansas Pine-Bluff) came up with the biggest hit of the Rox season and drove in Matthew Tarantino (Pacific).
For the 2nd straight year, the North Division Title Game went into the extra innings, only this time the Rox prevailed. Drew Avans (Southeastern Louisiana) smacked the go-ahead 2 run double in the 12th inning, and Trevor Putzig (Tennessee Tech) delivered the knockout punch with an RBI single after that to win 5-2.
The Rox used big efforts late at the plate and on the mound. Closer Brent Killam (Georgetown) threw 3 innings and only allowed 1 hit. He also had 6 strikeouts and managed to keep the game-winning run for Mankato from scoring in the 10th. Shelby Lackey (Pacific) earned the win after tossing two scoreless and closing out the final out of the game with a strikeout.
All of the clutch plays late overshadowed Robbie Palkert’s (Nebraska) start on the mound. He went 5 innings and only gave up 1 hit and 2 walks.
The Rox find a way to move on to the Northwoods League World Series against Battle Creek. Game 1 in the best of three series will be in St. Cloud tomorrow night. It will be the last home game of the year for the Rox before finishing the season in Game 2 or 3 in Battle Creek. For tickets you can purchase them from our Rox Box Office at the MAC from 9 AM-5 PM or go online at stcloudrox.com.
Tonight’s Box Score.
Tonight’s Player of the Night is Ricardo Sanchez. His RBI single with 2 outs in the 9th tied the game and set up all of the big plays late to push the Rox to the Finals.