BISMARCK, N.D. — The La Crosse Loggers scored eight runs in the first two innings on the way to a 12-5 Northwoods League victory over the Bismarck Larks on Thursday.
The Loggers (39-30 overall, 22-12 second half) are in third place and one game behind North Division-leading Willmar (45-24, 23-11). Mankato (43-26, 22-11) is a half-game behind the Stingers and plays La Crosse on Saturday and Sunday as the division title is contested.
Catcher Mike Rothenberg was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI after hitting his fifth home run of the season. He also tripled for the first time. Rothenberg’s home run was a three-run shot during the Loggers’ five-run second inning.
Designated hitter Harrison Freed was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI. Freed ran his season RBI total to 60, and Braiden Ward stole his 33rd base of the season.
The Loggers used three pitchers and starter Bill Chillari (3-2) earned the win by tossing five innings. He allowed five runs on 10 hits — two home runs — while striking out two but was the beneficiary of La Crosse’s hot offensive start.
La Crosse plays at Bismarck again on Friday before its weekend series at Mankato.