Rafters Drop Series Opener to Chinooks

Rafters Drop Series Opener to Chinooks
Late rally comes up short in 8-7 loss to Lakeshore
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – A ninth inning rally came up just short for Wisconsin Rapids (41-18, 14-9) in an 8-7 loss to Lakeshore (31-27, 13-10) on Saturday at Witter Field. A big second inning from Lakeshore was highlighted by a bases clearing triple from Jacob Richardson in the Chinooks first trip to Witter Field this season. Trailing 8-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Rafters pushed across two runs and loaded the bases, but Nick Campe forced a ground ball to escape the jam with the save for Lakeshore.
The visiting Chinooks did not take long to get on the board in their first trip to Witter Field this season, scoring in the top of the first inning. Jacob Richardson knocked in the run with a two-out double off the wall in right-center, plating Matthew Mika who led off the game with a single.
Wisconsin Rapids struck back with two runs in the home half of the first on a pair of RBI hits with two outs. Ryan Stekl doubled to right field to score Nick Anderson for the first run of the inning. Stekl came in to score when Jake Guenther cued a ball down the third base line just past the glove of the third baseman.
Lakeshore regained the lead with a big second inning and chased Rafter starter Quinn DiPasquale, who reached the single inning pitch limit. After the lead-off batter stuck out, the Chinooks loaded the bases and Matthew Mika punched one through the hole between shortstop and third base to plate Tim DalPorto and Drake Lubin. Following a hit by pitch, Jacob Richardson unloaded the bases with a triple to the gap in right. Richardson scored on a Nick Gatewood double for the sixth run in the frame.
The teams traded runs in the third inning, as the Chinooks led 8-3 after three. Mika knocked in his third RBI of the evening with a double to plate DalPorto for Lakeshore, while Bryson Stott singled and scored for the Rafters on a Dustin Woodcock RBI single.
The Rafters cut the deficit in the seventh inning, scoring two runs to pull within three of Lakeshore. A throwing error scored the first run of the frame and newcomer Christian Kuzemka delivered a sacrifice groundout in his first plate appearance in Wisconsin Rapids to score Woodcock.
Wisconsin Rapids rallied in the ninth inning and scored two runs to close the gap and looked to walk-off or force extra innings. Nick Anderson stepped in the box with the bases loaded and two outs, drilling a grounder down the third base line, but a stellar play from Richardson clinched the win for the Chinooks.
Joe Heineman (4-0) earned the win for Lakeshore, allowing one run in three and a third innings of work. Nick Campe closed the door on the Rafters threat in the ninth to pick up his second save in 21 relief appearances. Rafter starter Quinn DiPasquale (6-2) was unable to make it past of the second inning and was tagged with the loss.
Wisconsin Rapids and Lakeshore square off again tomorrow, with a 4:05 p.m. first pitch from Witter Field. LubDub Sports presents Wrestling night with special guest Jerry “The King” Lawler. Coverage of the game starts at 3:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and, the Rafters Radio Network.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.comor download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.