Dominant DiPasquale Leads Rapids to Fifth Straight Win
Tim Hackett, Broadcasting Intern
Wausau, Wis.- Five runs scored in the first two innings, combined with stellar starting pitching, was more than enough to lead the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (7-1) to their fifth straight win, the second in a row at the expense of the Wisconsin Woodchucks (2-5). After a close game Monday night, the Rafters rode a strong first two frames to a 6-1 victory over the Chucks on Tuesday.
The Rafters got to Wisconsin starter DJ Moreland early. Dustin Woodcock and Ryan Stekl reached base with two outs in the first, and Josh Rehwaldt brought them both home with a double to center. In the second, the Rafters brought home three more, anchored by an RBI double off the bat of Woodcock.
Rapids starter Quinn DiPasquale was excellent for Craig Noto’s squad, but the Woodchucks finally got to him in the fifth when Andrew Kendrick launched a solo homer, his second of the year, to left field to put Wisconsin on the board.
The Woodchucks wouldn’t score again. Rapids threatened in the seventh against Tyler Garam, but Tristan Clarke, making his season debut, made a sensational catch and threw out a runner at home to squash the chance. The Rafters were able to score in the ninth against Payton Coffman as Woodcock walked and came around to score on an RBI single from Matt Schmidt.
The Woodchucks finally knocked DiPasquale out of the game in the eighth and threatened against reliever Cameron Busby in the ninth. Clarke led off with his first Woodchucks hit, and, two batters later, Dalton Reed nearly knocked in a single to left, but the ball was snared by the diving third baseman Shaq Robinson, who doubled Clarke off of first to end the ballgame.
DiPasquale pitched 7.2 excellent innings of work for Wisconsin Rapids, allowing five hits and just the one earned run – Kendrick’s bomb – and striking out five. Meanwhile, Armando Gonzalez was nothing short of sensational in relief of Moreland for Wisconsin. He came in with two out in the second and departed with three out in the sixth – 4.1 innings of work, in which he allowed just three men to reach base with no runs allowed.
The Woodchucks are back at home on Wednesday for the second of three straight home games as they welcome the Lakeshore Chinooks to Wausau for the first time this year. Tyler Luneke will be on the hill for the Chucks, with first pitch slated for 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.