WAUSAU (Press Release) - After dubbing Thursday's game one of the most important in recent Athletic Park history, field manager Guido Aspeitia led the Wisconsin Woodchucks into second-half play in dominating fashion, routing the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 10—1 before 1505 fans at Athletic Park.
Woodchucks' starter Tom Briner set the tone early, dominating the Rafters' lumber through seven innings of work, before the ‘Chucks would add eight runs in their final two innings to seal the victory.
After struggling through subpar defense and pitching throughout first half play, the Woodchucks allowed only one run off four hits, and played relatively sharp, disciplined defense.
The Rafters' arms and gloves, conversely, continued to struggle, as the ‘Chucks slugged 12 hits and scored 10 runs, with five being unearned as the Rafters committed three errors.
The win prevented the Rafters from establishing their first-ever franchise winning record.
The Woodchucks got a couple of early runs off Wisconsin Rapids' starter Nestor Bautista — who fell to 2—3 — creating an early cushion for starter Tom Briner, in what was a tight game through seven innings of play
Seth Batty — who reached on an error with one out in the first — scored on a Carlos Escobar RBI single, while Brian Carroll scored in the third inning, as he and Danny Susdorf led off with back-to-back singles, advanced on a sacrifice bunt, and came home on a Mike Gerber groundout.
Coming in with a 0.56 ERA, Woodchucks' starter Tom Briner continued to impress, throwing a dazzling seven innings of four-hit baseball.
While working through his first six innings unscathed, Briner didn't allow a runner to advance into scoring position until the sixth, when a walked Aaron Mess advanced to third base on a two-out hit-and-run single by Joshua Cyr. Briner ended the threat in the next at-bat, however, as he recorded his eighth strikeout of the night.
Holding a 2—0 lead with two out in the seventh inning, Briner gave up his first — and only — run on a solo Curtis Frisbie homerun to straight centerfield.
Improving to 3—0 after only four starts, the UC- Davis product allowed only four hits and two walks, while striking out 10 — nine of which were of the swinging variety.
Nestor Bautista pitched well for Wisconsin Rafters, keeping the Woodchucks in check and earning a quality start — allowing six hits and only walk, striking out five, through six innings of work.
Taking a 2—1 lead into the bottom of the seventh, the ‘Chucks would guarantee Briner a win and mash four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings— breaking through off relievers Jacob Doyle and Joie Dunyon.
In the two-inning spurt, the Woodchucks were aided by four wild pitches, two fielding errors, two walks and a hit batter, while collecting seven hits.
With the win, the Woodchucks move into a four-way tie for first place in the second half at 1—0, with the Rafters returning to Wausau Friday to cap a five-game home stand.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release
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