Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin – In what looked like a promising start for the Chinooks against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, the final outcome didn’t go in the Chinooks favor. In the first inning, the Chinooks were able to put a run on the board thanks to Michael Seegers. He reached on base because of a Rafters error, stole safely to 2nd, and scored on a wild pitch. The Chinooks early 1-0 lead was able to stay intact thanks to their starting pitcher Xander Rojahn. In his two innings pitched, Rojahn gave up a couple walks and hit-by-pitches. No Rafters runners were able to score though as Rojahn got out of a couple of jams.
In the top of the 3rd, it was the most promising inning for the Chinooks. Tony Livermore got on base with a walk and was able to reach 3rd base on an overthrow while stealing 2nd. Michael Seegers continued his hot streak with an RBI single to give the Chinooks a 2-0 lead. Another Rafters error allowed Matthias Haas to reach base and move Seegers to 2nd base. Matt Deprey was able to drive in Seegers later in the inning on an RBI sac fly to make it a 3-0 game for the Chinooks.
Calvin Bickerstaff came in relief for Rojahn in the 3rd inning. He didn’t have much trouble facing the imposing Rafters lineup his first two innings pitched. Ben Ross who has been one of the best hitters in the Northwoods League, got the only hit for the Rafters against Bickerstaff til the 5th inning. Bickerstaff couldn’t keep it rolling as the Rafters took control of the game. Chris Conniff led off the big inning with a double and McKinley Erves drove him in on an RBI single. The Rafters were right back in the game with a 3-1 score.
Brendan Bobo walked after Erves, which led to a crucial at-bat for Jacob Igawa. A clutch hit and big-time 3-run homer by Igawa was what the Rafters needed. A blast over the left field wall gave the Rafters their first lead of the game at 4-3. The Chinooks offense was pretty much silent the rest of the game. The Rafters added some insurance runs in the bottom of the 7th. George Klassen was the new Chinooks reliever and allowed many baserunners in the inning. Ben Ross hit another single and McKinley Erves got drilled with a 100 MPH fastball in the back for an HBP.
Jacob Igawa was the leading man for the Rafters offense as he drove in Ross to get his fourth RBI of the game. The Rafters got another run on a fielders choice to increase their lead to 6-3. The Chinooks had their chances as they had runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out in the top of the 8th. Unfortuanlety, neither runner advanced as the offense had three consecutive outs. John Bay drilled his second home run of the season in the top of the 9th, but it was still a 6-4 deficit. It looked like the Chinooks had something brewing after the homer and a Tony Livermore single.
Rafters closer Preston Howey shut down the doors though after the hits as the Rafters won another game. The Chinooks lose another tough one and fall to 4-3 in the second half. They’re tied for third place in the division as they face the Rafters in game two of the series Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 6:35pm at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids.