For Wausau Pilot & Review
FOND DU LAC – 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 Woodchucks’ 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.
Mosinee native 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 Spiders’ defense.
In the ninth, Ryan Blanchard (Feather River) drove in Tim Conway (North Georgia) to score Wausau’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 Tuesday 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.
Dock Spiders 11, Woodchucks 2
Wausau 000 000 002 – 2 11 1
Fond du Lac 200 007 11x – 11 16 0
WP: Austin Wagner. LP: D.J. Radtke.
SO: Radtke (4 1/3 inn.) 6, Michael Reagan (1 inn.) 2, Jace Baumann (2 2/3 inn.) 1; Wagner (6 inn.) 7, Kenny Campbell (1 inn.) 1, Frankie Klemm (2 inn.) 1. BB: Radtke 5, Reagan 2, Baumann 1; Wagner 0, Campbell 1, Klemm 3.
Top hitters: W, Lenin Ashby 2×4; Ike Mezzenga 3×4, 2B, RBI; Daniel Helfgott 2×4; Dean Bittner 2×2, 2B. F, Nick Mitchell 4×5, 3B, RBI, 3 runs; Alejandro Macario 2×4, 2 runs, RBI; Tommy Stevenson 2×5, 2 runs, RBI; Cole Messina 1×4, 2 RBI; Stephen Schissler 1×5, 3B, 2 RBI; Anthony Frechette 2×3; Stone 2×4.
Records: Wausau 0-1; Fond du Lac 1-0.