For the City Times
Big third inning propels Rafters back to the playoffs
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – On Saturday evening, Wisconsin Rapids (25-7) clinched a playoff berth with a 6-2 win over Fond du Lac (12-20) at Witter Field. The Rafters claim the south division in the first half in consecutive years.
With a Kenosha Kingfish loss to Madison earlier in the evening, the Rafters could secure a playoff bid and the first half title with a win against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, which the Rafters were able to accomplish. Six different Rafters drove in the six runs and Wisconsin Rapids defeated Fond du Lac 6-2. Ryan Stekl lead the way with two hits and starter Quinn DiPasquale (4-1) threw five and two-third strong innings and earned the win while Mason McReaken picked up a save and struck out seven of the 11 batters he faced.
Both teams went hitless into the third, but Wisconsin Rapids got on the board on the first hit of the evening. Bryson Stott singled back up the middle to score Wyatt Mascarella from third base. The next batter Dustin Woodcock drove in his 25th run on the season with a fielder’s choice to the shortstop to score Nick Anderson. The Rafters added two more runs in the frame on an RBI double from Jacson McGowan and a sacrifice fly from Jake Guenther.
The Rafters picked up a run in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0 over Fond du Lac. With the bases loaded, Ryan Stekl singled to right field to plate Mascarella. An inning ending double play with the bases loaded ended the threat for Wisconsin Rapids.
After a two home-run night Friday in Madison, Christian Jones continued to swing a hot bat on Advanced Disposal Star Wars Night at Witter Field. Jones mashed a double off the wall in left-center field to score Charlie McConnell and open the lead to 6-0.
Fond du Lac scored two runs in the sixth to break the shut-out and cut the Rafters lead to 6-2. Thomas Luevano and Joe Breaux each singled in a run for the Dock Spiders.
The pitching duo of starter Quinn DiPasquale and reliever Mason McReaken baffled Dock Spider hitters all evening, with the two combining for 15 strikeouts against four walks and four hits.
The Rafters and Dock Spiders meet for a doubleheader tomorrow in Fond du Lac, with the first game set for 1:05 p.m. and the second 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Coverage of the games start at 12:50 pm on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.