Rafters take two against La Crosse
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters hosted the La Crosse Loggers on Aug. 4-5, taking both games in a home series.
The Rafters played from behind most of the way on Aug. 4, winning on a Billy Cook walk-off double, 4-3.
The Rafters struck first on Cellcom Kids Day with a run in the third. Hank Zeisler and Parker Nolan walked to set up Austin Kryszczuk. Kryszccuk knocked in Zeisler with a groundball mishandled by JT Thompson.
In a 2-1 deficit, the Rafters tied things in the seventh with Billy Cook at the plate. Zeisler walked and Richie Schiekofer singled to lead off the inning. With one out, Zeisler came home to score on a Cook sacrifice fly.
Protecting a 3-2 lead, Jared Freilich came on to close the game for La Crosse. Zeisler and Schiekofer walked, and Andy Garriola was hit by pitch to load the bases for Billy Cook. In another bases loaded at-bat, Cook walked off the game with a two-run double hard off the right field fence.
Sam Hliboki earned the win on his 19th birthday with 1.2 innings pitched. The loss went to Freilich with two runs allowed in the ninth.
Every starter reached base and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters used a six-run first inning to crush the La Crosse Loggers, 14-4 on Aug. 5. The Rafters improved to 23-9, leading the Wisconsin-Illinois Pod.
In the first, Richie Schiekofer led off the game with a single and was immediately hit home by Billy Cook. Cook, who walked off Tuesday’s win, kept his bat hot with a two-run blast over the left-center field fence. The Rafters got six runs on four hits in the first inning to ignite the offense.
The Rafters got eight unanswered runs from innings three through six. The Rafters offensive stars were Richie Schiekofer and Billy Cook. Schiekofer and Cook had three hits each in the win, with Schiekofer scoring three runs. Cook drove in three runs, two on his home run and one on a third inning double. Andy Garriola also chipped in offensively with a pair of RBI singles.
In pitching, the Rafters bullpen excelled, pitching six scoreless frames. Jimmy Borzone upped his scoreless innings streak to 10.2 innings and earned his second win of the year with three innings pitched and three strikeouts.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters look for a homestand sweep on Aug. 6, facing the second-place Fond du Lac Dock Spiders at 6:35 p.m. Coverage of the Dock Spiders and the Rafters begins at 6:20 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and at 6:30 p.m. on the Northwoods League Baseball Network.