By Cooper Perkins Special to the City Times
Looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (29-16, 5-4) greeted the Battle Creek Bombers (22-23, 4-5) for a Thursday night meeting. The Rafters used solid pitching, opportunistic scoring, and a late home run to knock off the Bombers by a final score of 6-3.
In the second inning, the Rafters struck first on a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Joe Wainhouse (Washington), followed by an RBI single from Doak Dozier (Virginia) to make the score 2-0. Bomber catcher Cody Young proceeded to cut the Rafter lead in half with a solo home run over the left field wall to begin the third inning. Young’s home run is the only round-tripper that All-Star Chris Cooper (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) has surrendered this summer.
The Rafters maintained their one-run lead into the sixth inning, when the Bombers rallied to tie the game courtesy of a Ryan Dorow sacrifice fly. Cooper was able to limit the inning’s damage to just a single run and escaped the sixth inning with the game tied at 2-2. In his six inning of work, Cooper allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks, striking out three. For the third consecutive outing, Cooper did not factor into the decision.
Following Cooper’s departure, the Bombers manipulated a lead-off walk to create the go-ahead run and seize a 3-2 lead entering the seventh-inning stretch. Unfortunately for Battle Creek, their lead would prove to be short-lived, as a litany of errors and wild pitches allowed the Rafters to take a 4-3 lead entering the eighth inning. After a quiet top half of the inning, the Rafters’ one-run lead grew to a three-run advantage thanks to a mammoth two-run home run from Joe Wainhouse. The previously mentioned Wainhouse demonstrated his power by depositing a 3-0 pitch from Austin Bueter beyond the right-field wall and into the night sky for his third home run of the year. With the lead sitting at 6-3 entering the ninth inning, all-star Garrett Schilling (Xavier) entered the game looking to seal a win and did so by pitching a perfect ninth. The save was Schilling’s league-leading thirteenth of the year and the victory moved right-handed reliever John Jaeger (Sterling College) to a perfect 5-0 mark.
The Rafters will look to sweep the Bombers on Friday night with first pitch set for 7:05 PM and gates opening to the public at 6:05 PM. The evening is slated to be themed “90’s Night”, highlighted by an appearance from Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding in the sit-com Saved By The Bell.
For more information please visit raftersbaseball.com