For the City Times
Three home runs from Battle Creek difference in 11-4 Rafter loss
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – In the finale game of a home series for Wisconsin Rapids (32-11) against the Battle Creek Bombers (25-17), the Rafters fell 11-4 Wednesday night from Witter Field. Winston Welch led the way for Battle Creek with a home run and a double, driving in four. The Rafters committed four errors on the night and pitching struggled with command, walking six Bomber batters.
The Rafters jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first on Outdoorsmen Night at Witter Field. Ryan Stekl drove in the run, singling to left to plate Charlie McConnell from second base.
Welch tied the game in the third with one swing of the bat, homering to left field. Welch’s first of the year was the first home run given up by Rafter starter Jesse Slinger (5-1).
The game remained scoreless as a storm rolled into Wisconsin Rapids during the bottom of the fifth. Rain delayed play for 50 minutes but the work of the grounds crew and entire Wisconsin Rapids Rafter roster prepared the field quickly for play to resume.
Battle Creek turned back to the long ball to take the lead in the sixth inning, when Justin Felix hit a moon shot that snuck over the wall in left, good for a three-run homer. The Bomber catcher unloaded on a fastball to take a 4-1 lead and chase Slinger from the game. Battle Creek added one more in the frame on a Cody Hawken RBI single to increase the lead to 5-1.
Wisconsin Rapids loaded the bases to begin the home half of the sixth, and pushed two runs across to cut the deficit in half and trailed 5-3 after six full innings. Stekl scored the first run on a passed ball and Dustin Woodcock scored on an RBI fielder’s choice from Jared Nelson.
Battle Creek answered back with a run of their own in the seventh on the team’s third home run of the evening, a solo shot by Tom Stoffel. Wisconsin Rapids got that run back in the eighth on an RBI double off the wall from Christian Jones.
Battle Creek opened the game up in the ninth, scoring five runs to take an 11-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Five batters walked in the inning and the lone hit in the frame was a bases clearing double down the right field line from Welch.
Mark Quinby (2-0) earns the win in relief for Battle Creek, throwing 2.1 innings and allowing just one hit. Slinger suffered his first loss of the season for Wisconsin Rapids, falling to 5-1 on the year.
The Rafters stay at home and host the Green Bay Bullfrogs tomorrow evening, a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Solarus presents Baseball Card Night, with a fan giveaway of baseball cards of Rafter players and staff. Special on-field entertainment is Baseball Juggling Josh Horton. Coverage of the game starts at 6:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.