Battle Creek, MI – August 7, 2012 – Traveling to Battle Creek for the final time this season, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (9-22, 25-40 overall) came in with momentum following the 11-1 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks on Monday. The Rafters kept that rolling early, taking a 5-0 into the 7th, but the Battle Creek Bombers (10-20, 24-41 overall) rallied with nine late runs at home to beat the Rafters 9-5 at C.O. Brown Stadium.
Wisconsin Rapids jumped out a big early lead with runs in four straight innings after a scoreless first. They couldn’t put the big inning together, but lead 5-0 after five. Tagging Bombers pitcher Caleb Vincent for five runs on eight hits looked like it would be plenty to win it.
Ben Heller (JR, Olivet Nazarene Univ.) was cruising early. He allowed a leadoff triple to start the night but after that point allowed only one hit in six innings. At one point, the right-hander set down eleven Bombers batters in-a-row. Through five, Heller was one over the minimum, and after six, he had a 5-0 lead, eyeing the finishing touches of what could have been his best outing of the year.
Then the seventh inning came. Three different Rafters pitchers threw in the inning. The Bombers batted 12 men, tallied seven hits, and forced two errors from the Rafters. Eight scored.
With an 8-5 lead that stretched into 9-5 the following inning, the Battle Creek bullpen silenced the Rafters bats. Although Wisconsin Rapids drew five walks in the final four innings, they did not get a hit in those frames. Alex Tukey threw a scoreless ninth to finish the third game in four between the two clubs.
Tommy Danczyk (SO, Univ. of St. Thomas), the first reliever used in the decisive seventh inning, took the loss (4-1). Bryan Stevens picked up the win, his first decision (1-0).
The season series between the two teams is now tied at 4-4 with two games left in Battle Creek to decide the victor. Wisconsin Rapids goes toe-to-toe against the Bombers once again Wednesday night at C.O. Brown Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CDT.
COURTESY WISCONSIN RAPIDS RAFTERS