Eau Claire, WI – July 31, 2012 – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (7-17, 23-35 overall) fell for the fourth straight night Tuesday. Beginning a two-game series against the Eau Claire Express (10-14, 21-37 overall), Wisconsin Rapids blew a 2-0 lead in the eighth to fall 3-2. Augey Bill (SO, Univ. of Arizona) tossed seven scoreless innings, but the Rafters All-Star closer Seth Fuller (SO, Black Hawk College) could not hold on to the lead.
Both starters impressed Tuesday. Almost as good as Bill’s seven scoreless, Express left-hander Andrew Hedrick pitched six one-run innings. The only run off of him came on a bases-loaded walk to Alex Bacon (SO, Univ. of North Florida) in the sixth to give Wisconsin Rapids a 1-0 lead. The southpaw allowed only three hits for the one run, bouncing back from his shortest start of the year, a three-inning outing in Lakeshore. Hedrick struck out six Rafters but walked four and hit a Rafter as well in the no decision.
Bacon would strike again in the eighth, this time off of Tony Vocca, singling to center. When Nick Addison fumbled the bouncing ball to him in center field, Brandon Hohl was able to score to stake the Rafters to a 2-0 lead.
But Addison would get his revenge. In the bottom half of the eighth, Alex Real reached on an error and Seth Fuller, asked to get a six out save, walked Gillespie to put two on. Fuller got ahead of him, but the center fielder drove a 1-2 pitch into the deck in right to give the Express a 3-2 advantage. Addison’s home run was his ninth of the year, and fifth against Wisconsin Rapids. In nine games against the club, Addison is 15-for-33 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.
Leading off of the ninth, pinch hitter Nick Ammirati (JR, Mississippi State Univ) walked, but the Rafters mustered nothing after that against the closer Paul Voelker. Jordan Dreiling (JR, Univ. of Kansas) bunted Ammirati to second, and Kenny Towns (FR, Univ. of Virginia) and Brandon Downes (FR, Univ. of Virginia) both struck out looking to complete the heartbreaking loss.
In the no decision, Bill went seven scoreless innings, striking out a season high seven; he did not walk a batter. Vocca (2-3) picked up the victory while Fuller (5-3) suffered the loss. Voelker collected his team-leading fifth save.
With a 4-5 record against the Express this season, Wisconsin Rapids will try to even the season series in the finale between the two teams Wednesday night at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids. UW-Stevens Point right-hander Cam Seidl (JR) gets a spot start for the Rafters going against Sean Renzi for the Express. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
COURTESY WISCONSIN RAPIDS RAFTERS