For the City Times
Bombers blast two home runs and Rafters strand 15 on base
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (49-19, 22-10) left 15 runners on base in the regular season finale against the Battle Creek Bombers (39-28, 19-13) in a 7-4 loss on Wednesday at Witter Field.
Battle Creek committed five errors in the game, but drove two home runs and worked out of jams in multiple innings to maintain their lead. Nehwon Norkeh led the way for Battle Creek, driving in three runs and adding a homer.
Battle Creek jumped on the board in the first, scoring a run on a Norkeh sacrifice fly. Alex Howard walked and scored the Bomber run in the first.
The Rafters answered the run in the home half of the first, taking advantage of two errors to put a run across. Charlie McConnell reached on an error and advanced to third on a failed pickoff before scoring on an infield hit by Nick Anderson.
A pair of home runs helped Battle Creek regain the lead in the early innings. Justin Felix hit a solo shot in the second inning and in the fourth Norkeh sent a two-run shot over the fence in left to give the Bombers a 4-1 lead.
Rapids got one run back in the fourth, but stranded the bases loaded with one out and could not capitalize after a defensive blunder. Jake Guenther drove in Ryan Stekl to bring the deficit to two runs on a single to centerfield. The Rafters loaded the bases, but Dakota Edwards (4-2) was able to retire two straight batters to end the threat.
Wisconsin Rapids pulled within a run in the sixth, but was unable to convert again, stranding the bases loaded. Scott Kapers doubled down the left field line on a two strike count to plate Alex Holderbach to bring the score within one.
The Bombers extended the lead in the seventh, scoring three runs with two men out in the frame. Howard hit a bloop double just out of the reach of Stekl at first base to plate Felix. The next batter Nick Walker lined a ball off of the wall in right field to score two Bombers and take a 7-3 lead.
Wisconsin Rapids added one in the eighth on an Anderson RBI double, but Tom Stoffel closed the door on the Rafters to earn a six out save to give the Bombers the victory. Edwards tossed six innings to earn the win while George Castillo (0-2) was tagged with the loss for the Rafters.
Wisconsin Rapids heads to Rockford for a series with the Rivets before returning home for the final home series of the regular season against Lakeshore. Coverage of all games can be heard on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.