WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI - The ticking time-bomb that is the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters offense may have made its loudest tick Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 walk-off win over the La Crosse Loggers.
Tied at three in the bottom of the ninth Justin Jirschele singled and Michael Smith doubled to put runners at second and third. With one down Ryan Palermo lofted a fly ball just deep enough for Jirschele to carry home the winning run.
Jirschele had to make an athletic slide to tap home plate ahead of the throw from right. "I looked up, saw the throw go wide, knew I'd have to slide inside, and it just worked out for us," Jirschele said. The second baseman went three-for-five on the night and hopes the team draws momentum from Sunday's thriller. "Any walk-off win like that can only help to spark a team."
Starter Chris Green allowed two runs over a short two inning stint before reliever Brad Douthit worked five innings of one run baseball. Douthit allowed a single run, charged to Green, in the third then posted consecutive zeroes from the fourth to the seventh. Douthit's five clutch innings gave way to two scoreless innings by Steve Godawa who picks up his second win of the season.
Quinton Perry helped set the stage for the Rafters late heroics with a game tying solo home run in the seventh. Perry reached base four times with two walks and a single added to his game tying blast. Jirschele scored twice to go with his three singles while Ryan Palermo drove in two and Matt Johnson added an RBI double to the cause.
Monday the Rafters travel to Jack Hackman Field in Marshfield for a special home game at 7:05 p.m. The Eau Claire Express will face the Rafters for the first of a three game series between the two.
Courtesy Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
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