By Lance Jones
Thunder Bay Border Cats pitchers Joe Moran (Anderson U.) and Peyton Burks (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) combined to silence the La Crosse Loggers offence in a 7-0 win on Wednesday morning. Moran put up a start worthy of Northwoods League Pitcher of the night striking out eight over six innings. Burks followed up by throwing three innings allowing just one hit of the 12 batters he faced. With the win, the Border Cats (4-12) snapped a five-game losing streak to get themselves back in the division fight over the Great Plains East-leading Loggers (8-8).
A dicey situation for Moran in the first seen Brett Hawkins doubled off of first in a beauty of a play by Karsten Vasquez (Sacramento City) on a line drive to second off the bat of Brady Allen (South Carolina).
Ryne Edmondson (Houston Baptist) had the game-winning hit in the first inning as his single to left plated Conor Allard (Nevada-Reno). Allard, in his Border Cat debut, walked to get aboard. Loggers Starter Jack Ferguson (Madonna U.) was chased in the first inning due to the league’s 35-pitches in an inning rule. Ferguson (1-2) unfortunately was on the hook for the loss after that as his team could not get him back in it.
It was steady for the Thunder Bay offence in the early going. The Border Cats threw down a three-run second inning as Vasquez knocked in an RBI single into the gap to get the party started. Edmondson would follow that up with a two-RBI double that scored Vasquez and Jake Engel (Dixie St.).
In the fourth inning, Allard’s first hit of the season extended the lead to 5-0 as his double scored Vasquez.
Thomas Grilli (Panola C.) would chime in with a run batted in plating Nick Seamons (Nevada-Reno) in the fifth. Seamons picked up his first hit and then stole second to help generate the sixth run of the game.
In the sixth the Loggers had their best chance to get after Moran. Kyson Donahue (Arizona) singled and Moran issued his only walk of the game to Brett Hawkins (Young Harris). The Loggers had two-on and none out, a golden chance to get back in the game. However, Moran bared down and struck out Allen, Adam Christianson (Illinois Central CC) and TJ Byrd (Young Harris) in order to end the threat and end his night. He allowed just five hits in the game and walked one to go along with the eight punch outs.
Jordan Larson (Northern Illinois) would get a lead-off single in the seventh. An error allowed him to count and wrap up the offensive output for the Cats.
Burks picked up where Moran left off, getting a 1-2-3 seventh. He ran into an issue in the eighth with two on and two out but got a pop out to shallow centre to keep the Loggers silenced.