Loggers fall, eliminated from playoffs

MANKATO, Minn. — The La Crosse Loggers fell behind quickly and never got going Saturday, the second-to-last day of the regular season in the Northwoods League.

The team’s 7-2 loss at Mankato was even more costly, though, as it eliminated the Loggers (23-13) from the second-half-long chase for a playoff spot. La Crosse’s loss, coupled with Willmar’s win Saturday, gave the Stingers (25-11) a two-game lead in the division. La Crosse also trails Mankato (24-11) by 5 games in the overall record, meaning they don’t have a shot at the wild card.

La Crosse will finish its season Sunday at Mankato. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

The Loggers tallied just five hits, two of which came off the bat of Harrison Freed, and both were doubles.


La Crescent knocks off Fargo

WAHPETON, N.D. — The La Crescent American Legion baseball team scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings to become the first team to beat Fargo at the Central Plains Division II tournament in Wahpeton, N.D., on Saturday. La Crescent won the game 5-3.

The win gives La Crescent (32-8) the chance to play an elimination game against Waupun at noon on Sunday, with the winner of that game meeting Fargo for the championship at 2:30 p.m.

La Crescent trailed 1-0 after Fargo scored on a squeeze bunt in the fifth, but a hit batter, two walks, a wild pitch and a single by Gavin Christianson gave it a 2-1 lead after six.

Noah Peterson, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, delivered an RBI single and became the second run to score on a double steal started by Sam Wieser in the seventh. Wieser scored from third and Peterson from first when a throw from the catcher sailed into the outfield.

Jaden Moore pitched all seven innings, allowed six hits and one earned run while striking out three.


Onalaska Luther sweeps quadrangular

The Onalaska Luther High School girls tennis team swept the quadrangular meet hosted by Aquinas at UW-La Crosse on Saturday.

Luther beat Black River Falls 7-0, West Salem 6-1 and edged Aquinas 4-3.

Luther’s doubles teams went undefeated on the day. The No. 1 team of Jenna Wahl and Phoebe Christenson pulled out a come-from-behind, 3-6, 6-2, 10-7 win over Aquinas’ Grace Smith and Maggie Burgmeier.

Cassie Warren, playing No. 3 and No. 4 singles for the Knights, also went 3-0 Saturday.


Sparta Miller blows out Strum

STRUM, Wis. — The Sparta Miller baseball team used a huge sixth inning to run away with its penultimate game in the WBA Tournament on Saturday, topping Strum Beat River 13-1.

Sparta Miller scored 10 runs in the sixth off 10 hits, highlighted by Adam Klos’ grand slam.

Josh Knoll pitched all seven innings, striking out eight in the process.

Sparta Miller will play the winner between Elmwood and Viroqua at 3 p.m. Sunday.

In other tournament action, Chaseburg Coon Valley beat the Eau Claire Cavaliers 10-6. It’ll play Sunday at noon.


Allgaier swipes Xfinity race

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Justin Allgaier passed rookie Austin Cindric with four laps left and held on Saturday to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Allgaier used the sixth restart of the race to squeeze by Cindric, then held off a challenge on the 72nd lap for his third series win of the year. He also won at Dover and Iowa for JR Motorsport.

Cindric, the pole-sitter for Team Penske, finished 2.05 seconds back after leading 59 of the 75 laps on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.

Daniel Hemric was third, followed by Matt Tifft and Ryan Truex. Series leader Christopher Bell was 11th.

Cindric built a seven-second lead before the fifth caution came out on the 60th lap. Cole Custer rubbed tires with Tyler Reddick, spinning him and causing a rear right flat tire for Reddick, who could not get his car off the course.

On the restart, Cindric raced clear of everyone, but Elliott Sadler spun Bell out of the way for second place.

Allgaier won the 20-lap first stage after Cindric led the first 17 laps before pitting, yielding the lead to him. It was Allgaier’s third stage win of the year. He fell off the pace by about two mph per lap and was 10th by Lap 40 after the completion of the second stage, which was won by Cindric.

Cindric regained the lead on the 22nd lap and held off the field on a restart on Lap 33 after a blown engine to the No. 39 car of Ryan Sieg.

Andy Lally took the lead from Cindric on the 44th lap following a restart for the fourth caution.

Cindric and Bell each passed Lally on the 50th lap. Lally was spun but regained control near the start/finish line on Lap 56 and finished 15th.

TRUCKS: Brett Moffitt passed Jimmy Sauter just before the finish line Saturday at Michigan International Speedway for his fourth NASCAR Truck Series victory of the season.

Moffitt edged Sauter — the leader the previous 12 laps — by 0.025 seconds.

“Pretty amazing this little team’s gone to Victory Lane four times this year,” Moffitt said. “The whole last however- many laps I was behind (Sauter), I would get to him, but I would push him with that air bubble between our bumpers.

“So I tried to back up (Turn) 1, let him get out there a little bit, and I knew the 8 (third-place finisher John Hunter Nemechek) was behind us. I was hoping he would actually get to us and be able to push us. But we were able to play it right and time it right. And, man, it’s just great to get here.”

Noah Gragson was fourth, and Todd Gilliland fifth after leading a race-high 18 laps.

Moffitt tied Sauter for the series victory lead.

Sauter — a Necedah, Wis., native — leads the season standings with 625 points, 56 points ahead of second-place Gragson going into Thursday’s race at Bristol, Tennessee, the final event before the playoffs. Eight drivers qualify for the postseason.


Millionaire Murray wants to be OU QB

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray insists he hasn’t changed, yet there are constant reminders that his life will never be the same.

Before June, he was merely a gifted two-sport college athlete. But once the Oakland Athletics took him with the ninth overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft and signed him for nearly $5 million, a new level of fame followed. Murray and the A’s agreed that he would come back to Oklahoma and play football, meaning he would return to campus making money on par with football coach Lincoln Riley.

The Sooners have enjoyed teasing Murray about his newly found wealth.

“They obviously make fun of having money,” he said, smiling broadly. “All that stuff, they make fun of it, but it’s all been good. They showed love, supported me through it all. I’m very thankful for that.”

The spotlight on Murray soon could burn even more brightly. He’s poised to follow Heisman winner Baker Mayfield as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback. If he can beat out Austin Kendall, the 5-foot-10 speedster could be one of college football’s most electrifying players. Last season, he completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and ran 14 times for 142 yards as Mayfield’s backup, including a 66-yard burst against West Virginia.

Though his future is in baseball, Murray is focused immediately on the gridiron and earning the starting nod for the opener Sept. 1 against Florida Atlantic.

“I wouldn’t be here right now if I wasn’t hungry to play this,” he said. “I think this is the most anticipated football season I’ve ever been ready for in my life. I’m ready to go.”

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Assistant Sports Editor

Todd Sommerfeldt has covered sports for the La Crosse Tribune since 2003 after doing the same previously in the Fox Cities and Rock County.

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