RAFTERS WALK OFF WINNERS OVER CATS
The Thunder Bay Border Cats (15-25, 1-4) dropped their 4th in a row in gut wrenching fashion to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (14-26, 2-3) 7-6 at Witter Field. Thunder Bay drops to last in the second half North Division standings three games back of the leading Mankato MoonDogs in a chase for a playoff spot. The Border Cats had two two-run leads evaporate before the Rafters won on a walk-off in the 9th.
The Rafters were led by a 3-5 one RBI night out by Taylor Stell, making his first start of the summer. Stell was a one of a quartet of Rafters who had multi-hit games, including the 1-2 punch at the top of the order of Zach Domingues (2-4, two runs and a walk) and Kirby McGuire (2-5, two runs, a double and an RBI) and Cullen Gassaway (2-2 with two walks and and RBI).
The bottom of the Border Cat order stepped up combining to go 6-12. 2nd Year Third Baseman Adam Collins (Central Michigan) went 3-4 with a double, a pair of runs scored and an RBI. Backstop Christian Correa (Nicholls State) went 2-4 with a solo homer, a double and two runs scored. 3rd Year Border Cat Outfielder Cory Kay (Missouri State) checked in with a 1-4 night and a run scored. Robb Paller (Columbia University) broke out of a mini slump going 2-4 hammering his 4th long ball, a solo effort.
Wisconsin Rapids reliever Nolan Blackwood (3-1) pitched a three up, three down with a pair of strikeouts in the 9th for the victory. Freeman the Rafters starter put together a six inning outing allowing seven hits leading to four runs on three earned issuing a walk. He also struck out five with the no decision.
Yuji Suzuki (Concordia-St. Paul) made his 5th start getting touched for six hits and four runs, three earned with two free passes. Reid Peavy (Northwestern State) took a tough loss dropping to 1-1. Devin McLemore (Winston Salem State) pitched an exceptionally notable three innings out of the pen allowing two runs, one earned on three hits, striking out five.
The Rafters took a 2-0 lead into the 5th inning before the Thunder Bay offense struck back. Paller led off with the home run off of Rapids Starter Jason Freeman. With Kay and Correa on, Collins singled to score both and then would count on a pass ball.
Following the four run explosion by the Border Cats, the Rafters erased the deficit. Clark Eagan singled to score Domingues. McGuire scored on the next play a fielder's choice hit into by Keelin Rasch on an incomplete double play.
Correa would get things cracking in the top of the 7th with a solo home run, his second of the season. Ty Blankmeyer (St. John's University) would re-establish the two run lead with a double, plating Collins.
After the Rafters tied the game, the bottom of the 9th was lined up for Stell's heroics. With a runner on second and one out Stell singled to scored Pinch Runner Michael Jurgella and give the Rafters the walk off victory.
The Border Cats look to snap out of this four game losing streak by sending Charles Thielmann (Kean University) to the mound. Thielmann, the steady right hander is scheduled to make his 7th start (2-2 3.74 ERA). The Rafters will counter with counter with righty Zach Jackson (2-1 4.33) making his 5th start. First pitch of the Inter-division matchup is scheduled for 8:05 EDT.