Home Runs By Payne and Dewees Not Enough As Rafters Fall to La Crosse, 12-5
La Crosse, WI- For the second-straight evening the La Crosse Loggers (2-0) used a 12-hit attack to outslug the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (0-2), 12-6, Friday evening at Copeland field. The 12 runs on back-to-back nights is the most runs the Rafters have allowed in consecutive nights and dropped the club to 1-3 in the month of July. In the Rafters last three losses the club has allowed 44 runners to cross the plate.
La Crosse got on the board early in the first inning when they sent 10 batters to the plate against Rafters starter, Griffin Glaude. A lead off base hit by Mike Nadrotowski and a double to centerfield by Johnny Bekakis scored the Loggers first run. The two base hits were part of a four run first inning that included an error and two walks by Glaude. The Loggers hung six runs throughout the game off batters that reached off walks, hit-by pitches or errors. The 10 batters to come to the plate in the first inning effectively knocked Rafters starter Glaude out of the ballgame due to a Northwoods League pitch restriction that prevents a pitcher from throwing another inning after exceeding 35 tosses in a single frame.
From there the Rafters used a trio of bullpen arms to piece together the games final eight innings. Derek Kawalawksi had his longest outing of the season as the Indian Hills prospect threw four innings while allowing four runs, including a bases clearing double in the fifth inning to Loggers hometown product, Bobby Juan. The extra base hit by Juan was part of a two-hit evening that included a three-run home run to left field off Rafters reliever, Brandon Winfield. In total Rafters pitching gave up four walks and nine earned runs on the evening.
Despite the struggles, the Rafters offense combined to slug seven base knocks throughout the evening, including home runs by Erik Payne (7) and Donnie Dewees (6).
Payne launched his seventh home run of the season after Jackson Slaid led the frame off with his sixth double of the season. The extra base hit by Slaid was part of a two-hit evening for the Montevallo prospect that included his fifth and sixth doubles of the season. Payne would follow with a home run to left to close the Logger lead to 8-5.
The offense would wither through the seventh and eighth inning as the Rafters combined for just one base hit. The only other runs would come on a majestic three-run home run in the ninth by Dewees for his 21st, 22nd and 23rd RBI of the season in the 12-6 loss.
The loss is the third in the last four games for the Rafters after the club closed the month of June a sizzling, 15-6.
The Rafters will look to bounce back tomorrow evening when they continue a six-game road trip for the first of two against the Madison Mallards at Warner Park. The Rafters have struggled this season in Madison allowing a combined 26 runs in their first two games at Warner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. as the Rafters look to rebound with Texas A&M Aggie, Greg Maisto, on the hill. Fans can listen to tomorrow’s game by tuning into WFHR AM 1320.
COURTESY WISCONSIN RAPIDS RAFTERS