Rafters win pitchers’ duel
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (4-3) scored two runs in the ninth and secured the walk-off win against the Wisconsin Woodchucks (5-2) 2-1 in a pitchers’ duel.
The starters were Matt Osterberg (St. Cloud State) for the Rafters and Ryan Lobus (Mercer) for the Woodchucks, both allowed no runs.
Osterberg retired six of the first nine batters he faced via strikeout. He did not allow one hit until the fourth inning, in which two reached base. The fourth inning finished with a 6-4-3 double play.
Lobus allowed two hits through the first four innings, recording his outs on fly balls, six in that stretch.
In the top of the sixth, two base runners got on to begin, after Louie Albrecht reached on an error and Roman Kuntz singled. Osterberg responded by striking out 1-2-3 in the Woodchucks lineup, ending his day with 10 strikeouts.
“The fastball worked for me, I threw 79 pitches and 61 were fastballs,” said Osterberg.
With two outs in the sixth, Hank Zeisler doubled off Lobus but was thrown out at third. Lobus completed seven scoreless innings. The Rafters went to their bullpen in the seventh, as Devin Rivera (Villanova) entered the game.
After a leadoff single from Brandon Trammel, he moved to second via a passed ball and crossed home plate after an RBI single from Bryson Hill.
The Rafters walked once in the seventh and once in the eighth but were both left on base.
In the ninth, the Woodchucks brought in their fourth reliever, Chandler Poell. He walked Ben Swords (Webster) and Mckinely Erves (La Grange) and after a wild pitch they both moved into scoring position.
Weston Eberly (Columbia) hit a ball right back to Poell who bobbled and was late on the throw home.
With the score tied at 1-1, Lance Gardiner (Saddleback) stepped up to the plate with runners at the corners. After another wild pitch, Erves raced home and was mobbed by teammates as the Rafters won their first game via walk-off fashion. Rivera earned the win for the Rafters.