Wisconsin Rapids - After nearly breaking a late tie two different times, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters watched the Battle Creek Bombers score three times in the ninth and take a 4-1 victory at Witter Field.
Tied at 1-1 since the second inning, the Bombers found their batting stroke in the top of the ninth off Rafters reliever Kevin Wild. A lead walk got things going then back to back doubles plated the first two runs. After Wild left the inning with no one out, Skyler Debilzen recorded a strike out and a ground out before an error brought home the third run of the inning, leaving the Rafters with a loss.
With the game tied at one in the eighth, the Rafters put the tie breaking run at second base with one out. Cody Koback lofted a soft single to center, sending the runner, Bobby Martin, around third towards the plate. The throw from center took the catcher up the line near the runner where the umpire ruled a sweeping tag found a piece of Martin, calling him out at home for the second out of the inning. The Rafters could not bring home Koback with two outs and went to the fateful ninth still knotted.
The lack of offense took nothing away from the outstanding starting effort from Nestor Bautista. The lefty worked seven innings of one run baseball, allowing just seven hits, striking out six and not issuing a single walk. Before allowing the runs in the ninth, Wild worked a perfect eighth inning of relief.
A pair of two out hits gave Battle Creek their first run in the top of the second. The Rafters answered in the bottom half of the inning. After lead singles to start the inning, the Rafters had runners at second and third with two out. Bart Steponovich evened the game with an RBI, his fourth of the year. The Rafters threatened in the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but a double play ball left them empty handed en route to the loss.
Courtesy: Rafters Sports Information