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Rafters beat the Woodchucks, 9-7

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The Wisconsin Woodchucks sign on Athletic Park. Image taken 6/13/2011.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks sign on Athletic Park. Image taken 6/13/2011.

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU-Woodchucks) - The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters scored four in the top half of the seventh inning to rally past the Wisconsin Woodchucks 9-7.

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters responded to a Woodchucks four-run inning in the bottom of the fifth with a four-run inning of their own in the top half of the seventh inning. After Derek Peake was hit by a pitch, Michael Jurgella hit a single to left field. After Zack Belanger walked to load the bases, Riley Spitz was hit by a pitch to allow Peake to score to tie the game up at 6. An infield single by Erik Payne to drive in Jurgella gave the Rafters the lead and a fielder’s choice hit by Taylor Stell added another run. One more run would score in the inning when Spetz would score on a wild pitch to give the Rafters a 9-6 lead.

Erik Payne, the very first batter of the game, would reach base safely off a fielding error by Woodchucks shortstop Brandon Kreig. The very next batter, Taylor Stell, would reach base safely on a walk. After a balk by Woodchucks pitcher Seth Davis put the runners at second and third base, Rafters first baseman Marcus Wheeler would drive in both runs with a single driven into the left-center field gap giving the Rafters a 2-0 lead.

In the first pitch of the at-bat in the top half of the second inning, Michael Herman would hit his first home run of this young season for the Rafters . Riley Spetz would reach base on a hit-by-pitch, then steal second base and advance to third on a wild pitch from Davis. Marcus Wheeler would hit a grounder to Woodchucks third baseman Madison Carter whose wild throw allowed Spetz to score on the play and take a 4-0 lead in favor of the Rafters.

The Woodchucks would get on the board in the bottom half of the second inning when Ryan Rippee would score on a wild pitch by Rafters’ pitcher Nick Maiers. Rippee reached base earlier in the inning after hitting a single to right field and then advancing to second base on a fielding error by Rafters’ right fielder Cort Brinson.

The Rafters would have an answer in the top half of the fourth inning when Erik Payne hit a 3-0 fastball from Davis over the left-center field wall to add a run with the score now 5-1.

In the bottom half of the fourth, Matt Tellor would score from second after Joey Rodriguez reached safely on an infield base hit. Rafters’ third baseman Michael Herman’s errant throw to first base on the play would allow Tellor to score.

The Woodchucks would gain the lead after a 4-run fourth inning putting the ‘Chucks up 6-5. After 2 straight singles by Cody Semler and Brandon Krieg, Matt Tellor would also hit a single driving in Semler from second base. A double down the line by Ryan Rippee would score Brandon Krieg and a single by Henry Weiler would score Rippee for the Woodchucks to gain the lead 6-5.

Tonight’s winning pitcher was Nick Pettus for the Rafters who pitched 3.2 innings in relief giving up only one run in those innings. The loss goes to Wausau native Ryan Zweck who gave up 4 earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched.

The Woodchucks will be back in action tomorrow night at Carson Park in Eau Claire. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05.

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