By Cooper Perkins
Special to the City Times
For the second time in three games, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (39-21, 15-9) succumbed to a shutout, dropping their series opener against the Lakeshore Chinooks (28-33, 13-12) by a final score of 4-0 The offensive highlights were minimal for the Rafters, as they mustered only two base hits and three walks in the defeat.
Absorbing the loss for the Rafters was right-hander Nick Belzer (Des Moines Area CC), who watched his record fall to 0-1 on the year. In the losing effort, Belzer worked 4 2/3 innings and allowed four runs (all earned) on four hits, striking out four without a walk. Upon Belzer’s exit, right-handed bullpen arm Reed Stumpf (Dubuque) offered an excellent relief appearance spanning the game’s final 3 1/3 innings, holding the Chinooks scoreless on two hits and notching his first two strikeouts of the season.
Lakeshore opened the night’s scoring with an RBI single from Kevin Riley in the bottom of the first inning. They then added an additional run on a sacrifice fly from James Bleming to extend their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. The game’s final two runs scored in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Joe Duncan and a run-scoring wild pitch, setting the final margin of 4-0.
The Rafters’ resistance was not nearly enough, as they notched just six base runners in the game, leaving five on base. In the loss, the lineup was struck out 13 times, the second-highest total in a single game this year.
First pitch at Kapco Park is slated for 6:35 PM with coverage beginning on WFHR 1320 AM at 6:20 PM.
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