WISCONSIN RAPIDS (Press Release) - For the second straight game a pitcher's duel turned against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters as a five run eighth inning propelled the La Crosse Loggers to an 8-3 victory at Witter Field Monday night.
Trailing 3-1 after seven, the Rafters sent Kevin Wild to the mound to start the eighth and hold the line. After striking out the first batter he faced, Wild allowed a walk and a home run to extend the lead to 5-1. Three batters later, after a walk and a single put two on, the second home run of the inning blew the game open at 8-1. Wild eventually recorded the final two outs, but not before the Loggers sent nine total hitters to the plate.
Nestor Bautista held the Loggers to just a single run over his first six innings pitched. Bautista worked around base hits in the first two innings by inducing a pair of double plays then gave up a solo home run to lead off the third inning. Bautista allowed four hits and a walk over the next three, but pitched out of jams, compiling four strike outs.
After allowing a single to the first batter in the seventh, Bautista gave way to Skyler Debilzen. A walk and a strike out by Debilzen put two on with one out. Then after a walk to load the bases, a fielder's choice grounder allowed the tie-breaking run to score, putting Bautista on the hook for the loss. An error on the grounder left the bases loaded with still one out, and a sac fly off Debilzen gave the Loggers a 3-1 lead.
With the Loggers firmly in control following their huge eighth, Bobby Martin contributed to the final with his second home run of the season in the bottom of the inning. Garrett Nash picked up his third hit of the night, a single, in that same eighth and came home on a Brandon Hohl RBI knock to set the final at 8-3.
Trailing 1-0 early, Evan Stermer brought the Rafters even with a solo home run, his second of the year. Kyle Peterson got into the act, not with the bat, but on the hill, using a double play ball to work around an error and face the minimum in the ninth. The Rafters had their own chance for a big inning early when the first three batters of the game reached. But a strike-out and double play left the Rafters scoreless.
Courtesy: Rafters Press Release