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Chucks Drop Tight Game Against Rafters

 

Fleischman Homers, but Woodchucks Fall 2-1

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- One night after scoring 13 runs on 14 hits, the Wisconsin Woodchucks (2-5) only managed one run on four hits as they dropped a tightly-contested affair with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (6-1) by a final score of 2-1. The Rafters are the reigning league champions, and rode excellent pitching en route to the best start in team history.

Chad Fleischman kicked off the second game of his season with a bang, blasting a solo home run to right center field off of starter Jack Eagan in the second to put the Woodchucks up 1-0. Aaron Soucy followed with a single, but he was stranded there.

The Rafters threatened in the fourth, getting men to second and third with only one out, but Woodchucks starter Gordon Cardenas got Christian Jones to strikeout and Matt Schmidt to pop out to avert the scare.

The Rafters were able to cash in in the subsequent innings, however. Mitch Mallek reached via a fielder’s choice and came home to score on a single to right off the bat of Nick Owens in the fifth, and Matt Schmidt singled and scored on a single from Jakob Guenther in the sixth to give Rapids a 2-1 lead.

That’s all the lead they would need. Kevin Bolder and Andreas Papageorge combined to pitch two scoreless innings, but the Woodchucks could not tie things up against relievers Nick Avila and Layne Henderson, and the Rafters sealed the deal, 2-1.

Eagan was excellent in his second start of the year, pitching six innings with only one earned run allowed to go with eight strikeouts. Cardenas was much improved from his first start, pitching five solid innings, the most a ‘Chucks starter has thrown this year, and allowing one earned run with four punchouts. Eagan improves to 2-0, while Chucks reliever Josh Bottenfield falls to 0-1.

These two teams will be back at it tomorrow night in Wausau for the second game of a home-and-home set, where the Woodchucks will try to stop the Rafters from winning four games in a row at 6:35 PM.

Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and the 2017 Northwoods League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, presented by Ascension. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.