For Wausau Pilot & Review

WAUSAU – A high-hitting yet low-scoring rainy night ended with a 3-2 loss for the Wausau Woodchucks (13-14) after a long battle at Athletic Park against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (13-12) on Saturday night at Northwoods League baseball action.

Chucks pitcher Dante Chirico (Northwest Florida State) started the team off strong, giving up only one hit to the Dock Spiders and striking out five batters in the first two innings. The Woodchucks bats got off to a slow start, with a single from Mark Shallenberger (Evansville) being the only hit of the first two innings.

Chirico managed to pitch his way out of a tough jam during the top of the third, only giving up one run to put Fond du Lac at a 1-0 lead. The Woodchucks landed two runners on the corners during the bottom of the third, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity to plate a run.

Singles hit by Mcgwire Holbrook (West Virginia) and Ryan Sepede (BYU) in the bottom of the fourth inning paved the way for Dwight Allen (Georgia) to drive Holbrook in to plate a run and tie up the game. Chucks pitcher Trevor Ernt (San Jose State) came in to relieve Chirico after four strong innings of pitching and eight total strikeouts.

Ernt battled through the top of the fifth, only giving up one run to the Dock Spiders. The Woodchucks retaliated in kind, with Holbrook driving in Shallenberger to plate a run and even the score at 2-2 to finish off the fifth inning.

The score remained tied at 2-2 until the top of the ninth, when the Dock Spiders managed to sneak in one run to pull ahead. The Chucks battled back, starting off strong with Widder launching a single to center field, followed by Shallenberger being advanced to first on a hit by pitch. The Chucks were unable to drive either runner in to score, resulting in a hard-fought loss.

The Woodchucks travel to Fond du Lac for a game at 1:05 p.m. Sunday before returning to Athletic Park Monday for a game at 6:35 p.m. to take on the Lakeshore Chinooks. Monday’s game is the Festival Foods Family Four Pack night, where you can get four reserved bleacher seats, four Festival Foods brats, and four sodas for just $45. Tickets can be purchased online at