For the City Times
After a sweep of Lakeshore relying on the bats, pitching fuels home victory
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – In similar fashion to opening day at Witter Field, Jack Eagan dominated and the Rafters tallied a 2-1 victory over the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Chucks scored the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, but a run a piece from the Rafters in the 5th and 6th edged the visitors from Wausau. The Rafters improve to 6-1 on the season, good for the best start in franchise history, and remain unbeaten at Witter Field. The Woodchucks fall to 2-5.
The Woodchucks opened the scoring in the top of the first by way of a Chad Fleischman solo home run to lead off the inning. The Rafters answered with a run of their own in the 5th. Nick Owens slapped a 3-1 pitch to right field to score Mitch Mallek from second base with two outs in inning. The game was tied after five innings, 1-1.
The home team would break the tie the next inning, when Jake Guenther lined one down the right field line to score Matt Schmidt from second base. Guenther entered the game batting .400 and appearing in all six games for Wisconsin Rapids. The run would prove to be the difference in the game, as Rafters relief pitching would hold the Chucks scoreless.
Jack Eagan followed up his opening day with another gem, striking out eight in six innings of work, and earned his second win on the season. Nick Avila threw two innings in relief and handed the ball over to Layne Henderson for the ninth. Topping out at 92 on the fastball, Henderson struck out the side to close the game and record the save. Josh Bottenfield was tagged with the loss, but Woodchucks pitching tamed the hot Rafter bats all night, limiting scoring chances for Wisconsin Rapids.
The two teams will be back in action tomorrow night, traveling to Wausau for the series finale. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m., with the Rafters (6-1) sending Quinn DiPasquale to the mound. The Woodchucks (2-5) will counter with DJ Moreland. The Rafters will return home Wednesday night to host the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders on Assumption Catholic Schools Night at Witter Field.