For the City Times
Three solo shots and costly error for Bombers deciding factor
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – In a battle of two of the top overall teams in the South Division, Wisconsin Rapids (32-10, 5-1) came out on top of Battle Creek (24-18, 4-3) in a game that saw three lead changes and costly errors from Witter Field in a Rafters 6-4 win.
Bryson Stott, Christian Jones and Ryan Stekl each hit a solo home run and strong pitching out of the bullpen secured a Rafters win.
Battle Creek jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the first inning. The Bombers tallied three straight hits, with RBIs from Alex Howard and Nick Walker to open the scoring on the evening.
Ryan Stekl did not take very long to get back in the action after three days off on the road trip, homering to left on the first pitch he saw. The designated hitter took Bomber starter Taylor Horn deep on a fastball to cut the lead in half after one full inning.
Jones added to his bid for a selection to the Northwoods League Home Run Derby next week in Wausau, recording his 12th home-run of the season, good for second in the league. Jones lead off the fifth inning by hooking ball around the foul pole in left to tie the game at two.
The Rafters scored in the sixth inning to take their first lead of the contest. Ryan Stekl singled and came around to score on a wild pitch to put Wisconsin Rapids up 3-2 after six.
The visiting Bombers stormed back to take the lead in the seventh, scoring two runs and taking advantage of a Rafter error to regain the lead. Nick Menken and Alex Howard each scored for Battle Creek with Nick Walker’s second RBI of the night the lone earned run in the frame.
A back and forth game all night swayed back into the Rafters favor, with the help of a costly error and the long ball. A leadoff double brought Scott Kapers up and a bunt to move the runner over to third was fielded by the pitcher and the throw sailed into the Bombers bullpen in foul territory, scoring the run from second and advancing Kapers to third. The next batter Nick Anderson drove a fly ball deep enough to left field to score the runner Kapers and regain the lead. Bryson Stott finished the scoring in the inning with a home-run to right field, his second of the year and first at Witter Field.
Isaiah Carranza (4-0) earned the win, tossing 6.2 innings and allowing three earned runs. Layne Henderson came in the ninth to close the door, tallying his tenth save of the year. Taylor Horn (3-3) was effective early in the game but made two key mistakes on home runs and was tagged with the loss.
The Rafters aim to sweep Battle Creek and move to 4-0 on the year against the Bombers tomorrow night at Witter Field, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa presents Outdoorsman Night, with the Rafters wearing camo and blaze orange jerseys to be auctioned off to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Coverage of Wednesday’s game starting at 6:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.