Rafters Drop Pitcher’s Duel to Kingfish
By Cooper Perkins, Special to the City Times
Kenosha, Wis. – Sunday night proved to be a frustrating evening at the plate for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (27-14, 3-2), who fell to the Kenosha Kingfish (18-23, 2-3) by a score of 2-1. The entirety of the night’s runs were scored in the third inning, as the ballgame was characterized by strong pitching on both sides.
Making his third start of the season, right-hander Eric Ligda (Millersville) dominated the Kingfish lineup for seven innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four. The outing was Ligda’s longest of the season and matched the longest by any Rafter pitcher to this point in the season. Despite his strong showing, Ligda was saddled with the loss, dropping him to 1-2 on the season.
In a light offensive game, the Rafters opened the scoring in the top of the third inning courtesy of a one-out rally. With runners on second and third and just one down, Demetrius Sims (Bethune-Cookman) drove a fly ball deep enough to center field to score Dustin Woodcock (SIU-Edwardsville). The run staked the Rafters to an early 1-0 lead, although the newly-minted lead would last only briefly, as the Kingfish rallied to snatch the lead away in the bottom of the third. With a man on first and two out, the Kingfish received back-to-back doubles to the wall, scoring a pair of runs and seizing a 2-1 lead.
Outside of a threat from the Kingfish in the bottom of the fourth that was thwarted by a Ligda strikeout and a busted suicide squeeze attempt, resulting in a double play, the lineups were dormant. The ensuing five innings would prove to be offensively uneventful, as neither team was able to push additional runs across. A one-out single from Jacson McGowan (Purdue) in the top of the ninth was wasted and the Rafters fell 2-1.
The Rafters will return to action Monday night at 7:05 PM against the Kingfish for the series finale at Simmons Field.