For the City Times
Guenther and Anderson blast homers in final game before break
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – In game two of the final series before the All-Star break, Wisconsin Rapids (34-13, 7-4) came out on top of Rockford (24-22, 7-5) 14-10 in an offensive powered game at Witter Field on Sunday.
In the two games of the series, the teams combined for 39 runs and 59 hits and pitching struggled throughout to retire batters and find the zone. Jake Guenther and Nick Anderson both homered for the Rafters on Sunday and combined for eight runs batted in. Wisconsin Rapids used eight pitchers in the win, while the Rivets used four.
Rockford heads to the break 24-22 overall and 7-4 in the second half. Isaiah Carranza (4-0) earned the victory in relief, tossing a 1-2-3 seventh. Rivet starter Lukas Veinbergs (0-2) was tagged with the loss.
Wisconsin Rapids manufactured two runs without a hit in the first inning, taking advantage of a walk, a hit by pitch and a Rockford error. Bryson Stott drove in the first run of the game on a ground out, scoring Nick Anderson from third. Dustin Woodcock was hit by a pitch and scored on an error.
Rockford used a two-out rally in second to bring two runs in on one swing of the bat. Zach Reams singled and JC DeMuri walked to set up Brett Whelton, who drilled a full count pitch down the right field line. The two-RBI double for Whelton evened the game at two.
Ryan Hutchinson cleared the bases with a double off the wall in the third inning for Rockford to take its first lead in the game. Hutchinson came around to score when Zach Rheams lined a pitch back up the middle to score the fourth run of the frame and take a 6-2 lead.
It did not take long for the Rafters to regain the lead, scoring five in the home half of the third inning to take a 7-6 lead. Charlie McConnell led off the inning with a walk and came in to score on a Nick Anderson single. The Rafters loaded the bases with one out and Jake Guenther delivered. The All-Star blasted his second grand slam of the season to cap the five run inning.
The Rafters tagged on four more runs in the fourth, with timely hitting across the lineup. Christian Jones, Dom Paiotti and Scott Kapers all recorded RBI hits and a Rockford error plated another run.
Rockford answered with three runs in the top of the fifth to stop the Rafters eight unanswered runs. Hutchinson drove in his fourth run of the day on a sacrifice groundout, and JC DeMuri brought the Rivets within two runs of Wisconsin Rapids with a two-run home run to right.
The Rafters answered all three Rockford runs in the top of the inning in the bottom of the fifth. Anderson blasted a two-run home run to straight away center field and Guenther doubled off the wall in center to plate Jones.
The Northwoods League will take their annual All-Star Break, with events in Wausau, Wis. over the next two days. Wisconsin Rapids sends six players to compete in the game Tuesday at Athletic Park. Outfielders Dustin Woodcock and Jake Guenther along with pitchers Jack Eagan, Quinn DiPasquale, Jesse Slinger and Cameron Busby have been selected by the coaches and media to participate in the prestigious event. The Home Run Derby before the game Tuesday will feature three Rafters, Woodcock, Guenther and the South Division leader in home runs, Christian Jones.