By virtue of winning 16 of their final 18 games, the St. Cloud Rox made certain the “Minnesota-Iowa” regional pod provides some Northwoods League drama on the season's final day. St. Cloud is now 27-12 overall; Waterloo is 27-13. Both play separately Thursday evening, with the Rox able to claim the division title with a win.
Carrying a remarkable 17-2 home record, 13 consecutive triumphs at Joe Faber Field, and seven straight wins over rival Willmar (21-20), St. Cloud should be confident. Throwing their ace, Luke Albright, with his 1.71 ERA, also favors the Rox.
After outscoring Mankato 19-1 Sunday and Monday, St. Cloud journeyed to Rochester Tuesday and Wednesday and beat the Honkers twice, outscoring them 20-7 in the process. Rox starters have only allowed three earned runs in their last 25.2 innings pitched.
The Bucks, meanwhile, host lowly Mankato in the Cedar Valley. We’ll have full reactions and information about the championship Friday morning.
AJ Kaufman covers the St. Cloud Rox, the Northwoods League and collegiate hockey for KACMEDIA. His bi-weekly commentaries can also be found on Alpha News Minnesota.