WISCONSIN RAPIDS (PRESS RELEASE)- The Wisconsin Woodchucks (14-10, 32-27) battled all day with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (7-20, 18-24) but finally lost in the 11th inning 6-4 Thursday night. The Woodchucks had their first lead in the 11th inning before Brian Emberry hit a walkoff homer to send the Rafters home happy.
Don Lisi (5-2) started for the Woodchucks and ran into a bit of trouble in the 3rd inning. A pair of infield singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with no out. An error on a double-play ball scored 2 Rafters, and one more run would score before the inning was over. The Woodchucks trailed 3-0, but saved another run from scoring when Kevn Pillar threw Derek Brown out trying to score from second to end the inning.
The Woodchucks fight back began in the 4th when Rob Lind doubled and scored on a wild pitch to close the Rafters' lead to 3-1. The Woodchucks battled for another in the 5th when Robbie De La Cruz hit a double off the top of the wall in right center and scored to cut the game to 3-2.
The Woodchucks pitchers escaped several big rallies in the middle and later innings. Jason Martyn, activated earlier in the day from Rio Hondo College faced a bases loaded jam in the 6th with no outs and struck out the side to escape the inning unscathed. The Woodchucks repeatedly came up with big strikeouts to escape threats in the later innings.
With the Woodchucks still trailing 3-2, Brock Stassi stepped to the plate to leadoff the top of the 9th against closer Steve Godawa. Stassi crushed a 1-1 pitch to right field for his 6th home run of the season and a tie 3-3 game. The game went to extras and each team failed to score in the 10th with runners in scoring position, and the game headed to the 11th.
Brock Stassi again led off in the 11th and laced a basehit to right field. Sharif Othman bunted Stassi to 2nd before Patrick Claussen pinch ran for Stassi. Claussen moved to third on a Robbie De La Cruz groundout before Eric Fritz delivered the two-out base knock to give the Woodchucks their first lead 4-3.
Jon Moscot (0-1) got two outs in the bottom of the inning, but a Rafter had moved to 3rd and Jenzen Torres stepped to the plate. Torres hit a soft and spinning bouncer down the 3rd base line that kicked out of the glove of 3rd baseman Brian Sharp and the rafters tied the game 4-4. Brian Emberry stepped to the plate, and two pitches later got all of a Moscot hanger for his 4th homer of the year and a 6-4 walkoff Rafers win.
The Woodchucks play the Rafters again Friday night with another 7:05 start at Witter Field. Nick Capito (4-0) is scheduled to pitch for the ‘Chucks against Jesse Arreola (3-3) of the Rafters. The game can be heard of Fox Sports 1390 AM.