By Cooper Perkins
Special to the City Times
Sunday offered the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (38-19, 14-7) their second opportunity to pick up the franchise’s 200th all-time win after losing to the Kenosha Kingfish (22-36, 6-16) on Saturday night. On the back of an early rally and outstanding pitching, the club succeeded in joining the Northwoods League double century club with an 8-1 win over the Kingfish.
The Rafters opened the game’s scoring in the top of the third inning after Doak Dozier (Virginia) singled to snap a streak of six consecutive hitters retired by Kingfish starter Cole Erickson to begin the ballgame. The next batter, Jon Meola (Virginia) would reach on an error by third baseman Matt Kroon, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Immediately after Scott Kapers (Valparaiso) sacrificed the runners to second and third, a wild pitch would allow Dozier to score from third. An RBI single from Jake Lumley (Canisius) would plate the Rafters’ second run of the inning. After a strikeout of Dustin Woodcock (SIU-Edwardsville) and an Erickson balk, a second wild pitch plated a run and pushed the lead to 3-0. Finally, Joe Wainhouse (Washington) lined a single to right field to score the inning’s final run, offering a 4-0 advantage to Peters entering the bottom of the third inning.
A run-scoring error in the fourth would bring home a fifth run for the Rafters, but starter Jay Peters (UW-Milwaukee) wouldn’t need further assistance, as he dominated throughout the night. Earning the win for the Rafters, Peters turned in his best start of the season and offered his second consecutive outstanding performance. Peters pitched six scoreless innings and scattered just five hits and a walk, while striking out five batters. In his last two starts, Peters is 2-0 and has thrown 12 innings while allowing just one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.
In the final three innings, the Rafters would score an additional trio of runs as they tied their season-high with three home runs in a single game. Kapers began the power surge in the top of the seventh with a solo blast straight down the left field line, his second of the year. Then in the top of the eighth inning, Wainhouse slugged a solo shot for his sixth long ball of the year and the next batter, Ben Fisher (Eastern Kentucky) added his team-leading eighth blast of the summer. The display of back-to-back home runs was the second of the season for the Rafters, both of which have included Wainhouse.
Out of the bullpen, Reed Stumpf (Dubuque) made his Rafters debut and pitched two innings, allowing an earned run on four hits without issuing a walk or earning a strikeout. Finally, Wainhouse recorded the final three outs of the evening, including a strikeout, to clinch the Rafters’ 200th win in franchise history.
The Rafters return home on Monday for a day-night double header with the Eau Claire Express. The first half of the twin bill is scheduled for 12:05 PM with gates opening at 11:05 AM. The second game is slated for a 7:05 first pitch and a 6:05 gate opening.
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