By Cooper Perkins
Special to the City Times
Five-run first inning helps Rafters earn split
On the final day of their brief two-game trip to Canada, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (34-18) rode an explosive first inning and quality pitching to their franchise-record thirty-fourth win of the year, knocking off the Thunder Bay Border Cats (12-28) by a final score of 5-1.
Following a quiet offensive performance on Saturday night, the Rafters released their suppressed frustration in the top of the first inning on Sunday. After a base hit and a stolen base, Demetrius Sims (Bethune-Cookman) advanced to third on a ground ball by Jake Lumley (Canisius). Four pitches later, Sims would score the first run of the evening on a passed ball. A walk by Patrick Cromwell (Clemson) and a single by Ben Fisher (Eastern Kentucky) would set the table for Rob Calabrese (Illinois-Chicago) to single home the Rafters’ second run. The Rafters would score their final three runs of the inning on a two-run double by Doak Dozier (Virginia) and a run-scoring wild pitch. After the top of the first, the Rafters claimed a 5-0 lead, which was more than enough support for starter Jay Peters (UW-Milwaukee).
Peters, a right-hander, turned in his most dominant performance of the season, making only a single mistake on a home run from Anthony Brocato to lead off the bottom of the second inning. In route to earning his second win of the season, Peters worked six innings and allowed just a single run on two hits and two walks, while striking out three batters. The Rafter bullpen would finish out the evening with three scoreless innings and five strikeouts combined between John Jaeger (Sterling College) and Blair Lakso (Buffalo).
The Rafters have an off day on Monday and will return to action Tuesday night at Witter Field for a 7:05 PM first pitch against the Battle Creek Bombers.
For more information please visit raftersbaseball.com.