For the City Times
Four home-runs carry the Wisconsin Rapids offense against Kalamazoo
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Once the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (15-1) offense got going, it carried the way to an 11-3 win on Thursday night against the Kalamazoo Growers (4-12) from Homer Stryker Field.
The home Growers started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Ryan Mergener drove a double to score the game’s first run. Kalamazoo added another run in the inning on a Javier Martinez sacrifice fly to give the Growers a 2-0 lead after one.
The score stayed that way until Nick Anderson drove a solo home-run to left for the Rafters to cut the lead in half.
Trailing 2-1 entering the fifth, Bryson Stott changed the game with one swing, launching a two-run blast to pull the Rafters ahead for the first time in the game 3-2. In the sixth inning, Wisconsin Rapids put three runners on, all via the walk. With Nick Owens at the plate, Bryce Welborn’s fastball got over the catcher to score a run. Owens then drilled a ball back up the middle, scoring two runners and extending the lead to 6-2. Owens scored on a groundout to push the Rafters ahead 7-2.
Offense continued to lead the way in the top of the seventh when Jake Guenther led off with a walk. Scott Kapers drilled an 0-2 over the left field bleachers to give Wisconsin Rapids a 9-3 advantage.
Nick Anderson produced more offense on his stellar day, hitting a two-run home-run in the top of the ninth to pull the Rafters ahead 11-3. Anderson finished the game with three hits while reaching base all five time he came to the plate. Dustin Woodcock walked four times for the Rafters.
The win goes to Rafters starter Sam Carver (1-0). The lefty tossed five and two thirds of three-run baseball to pick up his first win of the year. Trey Schramm, Keaton Graf, and Layne Henderson finished the game without allowing a hit for the Rafters bullpen. The loss is tagged to Kalamazoo starter Zach Vitkuske (0-3).