Four River Falls pitchers combined to allow two Chippewa Falls’ hits, and the Wildcats scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth, including a solo home run by Chase McQuade, in a 4-3 Big Rivers Conference victory over the Cardinals Tuesday in Chippewa Falls.
McQuade homered to lead off the top of the sixth and the Cats got a two-out RBI single from Ben Johnson later in the inning to open up a 4-0 lead. Those runs proved crucial when the Cardinals got a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning, but Eli Condon, the Cats’ fourth pitcher of the game, retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the one-run win.
The victory bumped the Wildcats to 8-5 in BRC play (14-6 overall) and ended the Cardinals’ BRC title hopes by dropping them to 10-3 (16-7). Hudson shut out Menomonie 6-0 Tuesday to clinch the BRC title outright at 12-1 (19-3).
River Falls jumped out to a 2-0 lead Tuesday at Chippewa Falls after Brooks Rivard and Elijah Baker drew back-to-back walks. Rivard scored on a double by Henry Zimmerman and Baker came home on a groundout by Zach Cleveland.
Following McQuade’s lead-off homer in the top of the sixth, Zimmerman stroked a two-out single, moved to second on a walk to Cleveland and scored on a single by Johnson to make it a 4-0 game.
Wildcat starter Keenan Mork struck out seven in four scoreless innings and Brody Rudolph pitched a scoreless fifth before Norman gave up a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth following a walk and hit batter.
The Wildcats had a chance to extend their lead in the top of the seventh but left the bases loaded before Condon got a grounder to second, a strikeout and a groundout to short to earn the save in the seventh.
The two teams will meet again Thursday in River Falls.
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