Eau Claire, WI – July 25, 2010 (PRESS RELEASE). The story of the game became the lopsided final score and a great pitching performance from Jesse Arreola. But early on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters scored with two outs in three different innings on their way to an 8-1 win over the Eau Claire Express Sunday.
In the top of the second, Cody Koback singled with two outs to cash in a Brian Embery double and put the Rafters up 1-0. Then after a double to lead off the fourth Michael Smith still stood at second with two outs until Jenzen Torres singled him home to put the Rafters up 2-0. The very next inning Matt Johnson stood at third with two outs after a lead single, a stolen base and a ground ball. This time Evan Laude came through with a single to set the lead at 3-0.
With the clutch hitting leading the way Arreola made sure the momentum stayed right in his club's dug-out. Making his first start of the season, the lefty allowed just five hits through seven and two thirds innings of one run baseball. "I knew after yesterday that this team needed a big start today," Arreola said. "So I just went out there hoping to have my best stuff and it worked out well." Arreola induced three ground ball double plays turned flawlessly behind him to kill any rallies before they started.
The big blow for the Rafters eventually came off the bat of Laude in the seventh. After the first three Rafters reached base, Laude pounded a high drive over the left field wall for the first Rafters grand slam in franchise history. "After walking the bases loaded I knew I'd see a strike so I didn't wait," Laude said. "We had the momentum pretty much all game, but I think the grand slam is big after being blown out yesterday twice, that allowed us to show them ‘Hey we can do that to you too.'" Laude ended the night with five runs batted in.
Arreola picks up his third win of the season to even his record at 3-3 as the Rafters move to 5-9 on second half.
The Rafters return home for two against the Waterloo Bucks Monday and Tuesday at Witter Field. Both games start at 7:05. Monday the first 500 kids will receive a free baseball courtesy of the Shoe Box, while Tuesday is Bacon Appreciate night at Witter Field.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are members of the 16-team summer collegiate Northwoods League. Single game tickets, ticket packages and group tickets are on sale now! For more information call (715) 424-5400 or visit www.raftersbaseball.com.
Courtesy: WI Rapids Rafters