Chucks Fall to Chinooks, Rafters Lose To Mallards

WAUSAU—The Wisconsin Woodchucks scored six runs in the last three innings but their rally was cut short by the Lakeshore Chinooks 8-7.

The first runs in the game wouldn’t come until the top of the fifth inning as the Chinooks put up five runs in the inning all with two outs. A double into the right-center field gap from Chinooks’ center fielder Andrew Stevenson started the scoring as Jared Fon and Tyler Wolfe came in on the play. A single up the middle by Chris Manning would bring home Stevenson. Aaron Machbitz tacked on two more runs thanks to his double down the left field line which brought home Manning and Mike Papi to give the Chinooks a 5-0 lead.

The Woodchucks got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth inning as Levi Meyer hit a long single off the left field wall that brought home Brandon Krieg.

The Chinooks would get that run back in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by Sawyer Polen that brought home John Norwood to take a 6-1 lead. They would add one more in the top of the seventh inning as Norwood would drive in Jerrick Suiter with a double off the center field wall giving the Chinooks a 7-1 lead.

The Woodchucks clawed their way back into the game after a four-run seventh inning. After a passed ball allowed Rob Bennie and Krieg to get into scoring position, Meyer again brought home the runners. Tyler Stieb would drop a hit into right field bringing home Meyer on the play. Joey Rodriguez would drive in the fourth Woodchucks’ run in the inning as he would hit a single up the middle to bring home Kirby Taylor on the play to trail the Chinooks 7-5.

The Woodchucks cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the eighth inning when Austin Diemer hit into a fielder’s choice allowing Garrett Rucker to score on the play.

The Chinooks plated an insurance run that later turned out to be the difference in the game in the top of the ninth when Harrison Bader came into score on a sacrifice fly by Mike Hollenbeck to give the Chinooks a 8-6 lead.

The Woodchucks would get the tying run to third base after Josh Goossen-Brown came into score on a ground out to short by Jake Jefferies to trail 8-7. However, Mitchell Sewald would shut the door on the Woodchucks as he would get Garrett Rucker to fly out to center field to end the game. It would be Sewald’s second save of the season.

The Woodchucks will travel to Green Bay tomorrow night to take on the Bullfrogs. The Bullfrogs will then come to Athletic Park on Tuesday evening to wrap up their two-game series. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6:35.

COURTESY: Wisconsin Woodchucks

Madison, WI- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (20-19, 1-3) committed five errors and allowed the Madison Mallards (22-14, 3-2) to score the games final four runs to steal a victory away from the Rafters Sunday evening at Warner Park. The loss dropped the Rafters to 1-3 this season against the Mallards at Warner Park, while successfully securing the season series loss against Madison.

The Rafters held leads of, 3-0 and 6-3, but the Mallards used timely hitting combined with defensive miscues to top the Rafters. Donnie Dewees and Zack Belanger each had three hits apiece to pace the Rafters 13-hit attack. The loss was the first time this season that the Rafters had out-hit an opponent by five or more hits and claim a loss.

Sunday’s ballgame was a wild affair that included two controversial home run calls. Erik Payne got Wisconsin Rapids on the board early in the fourth inning when the Virginia Tech Hokie added a three-run home to left field to give the Rafters the lead early, 3-0. The home run came after a controversial dispute over a call by home plate umpire, Matt Ball, after a fly ball that appeared to fair was called foul after hooking into the left field corner. Payne proceeded to knock the ensuing pitch over the left field wall for his eighth home run of the season.

Rafters starting pitcher, John Kravetz, was sensational throughout the ballgames first five innings as the Illinois prospect retired his first 10 batters faced and did not allow a base hit until Tate Matheny’s single to begin the sixth inning. The Mallards tagged Kravetz for three hits in the inning, including an extra base hit by Brock Stewart, that evened the score, 3-3.

Despite the comeback, the Rafters responded with their second three-run inning of the ballgame when George Ragsdale and Dewees each added base hits. Jackson Slaid would reach on a walk as the Rafters loaded the bases for Robbie Coman. Coman added is seventh RBI of the season when Virginia Cavalier poked a single to left. The base hit was part of a three run innings that put the Rafters back on top, 6-3.

The lead would be short-lived as the Mallards responded with a three run frame of their own after the first three batters reached base to knock Kravetz out of the game. Drew Weeks and Mike Fitzgerald each added RBI base knocks to drive the Mallards back to even, 6-6.

The big tipping point came in the eighth inning when the Rafters loaded the bases with two outs after Taylor Stell reached on an infield hit and Dewees and Slaid each drew back-to-back walks. Coman would strikeout for the second time to end the Rafter threat with the score still tied, 6-6.

Madison’s Stewart reached on a fielder’s choice and scored the games-winning run after an RBI base hit flaired over the outstretched glove to give the Mallards the win, 7-6. The loss avoided the series sweep and pushed the Rafters to three games back in the Northwoods League south division standings.

The Rafters resume their six-game four-city road trip tomorrow when the Rafters travel to Battle Creek, MI for the first of a two-game series against the Bombers at C.O. Brown Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. as the Rafters send, Brandon Schmidt, to the hill for the Monday tilt.

COURTESY: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

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