EAU CLAIRE (Press Release) - For the second straight night the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters found themselves in a one run game as the Eau Claire Express emerged Monday night with a 5-4 victory at Carson Park.
Right in the middle of a back and forth game all night, the Rafters found themselves down 4-3 headed into their final at bat. After a rally to start the inning ended with a line-out double play, Curtis Frisbie doubled deep to center to re-open the door. The very next batter, Bobby Martin tripled to the gap in left center plating Frisbie and sending the game tied into the bottom of the ninth.
Despite a two out double, reliever Kyle O'Shea tossed a scoreless ninth inning to send the game to extras. When the Rafters didn't score in the tenth or eleventh, O'Shea was tasked with securing a third straight scoreless inning, but a lead-off walk in the bottom of the eleventh proved to be his undoing. The next batter laid down a sacrifice bunt and the lefty tried to cut down the lead runner at second, but the throw sailed into center. An infield single later, Skyler Debilzen come on with the bases loaded. Garret Custons singled the first pitch through the drawn in infield, ending the game.
Throughout the game the Rafters came excruciatingly close to avoiding their extra inning fate. After Frisbie scored on a third inning RBI single from Jirschele, the Express threw Martin out at the plate trying to score from second, ending the inning. Again in the fifth the Rafters had a runner called out at home as Frisbie tried to score from second on a two out grounder up the middle.
Nestor Bautista, making his third Rafters start, allowed two runs over five innings, walking three and striking out two. Zach Mercer and Tommy Danzcyk each allowed single runs, Danzcyk's an eighth inning homer that put the Express up 4-3. The Rafters tenth loss of the season is charged to O'Shea, his first. At the plate, Martin ended the game with a pair of RBI and a triple, while Jirschele drove in a run and reached base four times.
The road trip moves to Green Bay Tuesday and Wednesday as the Rafters take on the Bullfrogs for two. Thursday, June 16 the Rafters are back a Witter Field for Riverview Family Clinic night at 7:05.
Courtesy: Rafters Press Release