Wisconsin Rapids - With a dominating performance on the mound, excellent defense, and just enough hitting, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters notched their first home win of the season 2-1 over the Eau Claire Express Sunday afternoon.
An unearned run had the crowd of 1,538 a bit uneasy after one inning, but Rafters starter Brad Douthit settled in after 29 pitches in the frame to thrill the raucous crowd with six straight scoreless innings.
"One of the great things about being a starter is you have a chance to correct what may be going wrong," Douthit said after his second win of the season. "We got outstanding defense as well, turning double plays, which always helps to keep the pitch count down."
Douthit finished his seven innings allowing three hits, walking two and striking out six. The Rafters bullpen secured the final six outs without allowing a hit to the Express. Skyler Debilzen and Kyle O'Shea combined on a perfect seventh inning then Kevin Wild worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the win and pick up his first save of the season.
Trailing 1-0 into the bottom of the second, Kyle Peterson erased the deficit with one mighty swing. Peterson launched his fifth home of the year deep to left to lead off the inning. Express starter Alec Crawford hit the next batter Josh Cyr who then went to third on a Bill Charvat single. Curtis Frisbie plated what turned out to be the winning run with a single back up the box, his third RBI of the year.
Defense contributed to win number one at home as much as the pitching and offense. The Rafters helped ease the load on Douthit the starter turning a 5-4-3 double play to end the third and a 6-4-3 twin killing to stifle the express in the sixth inning.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters