(WAUSAU) - Aaron Gates hit a walk-off bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday afternoon, scoring pinch-runner Mike Gerber to give the Wisconsin Woodchucks a 4—3 victory over the visiting Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
The Woodchucks held the Rafters scoreless through eight innings, giving up a three-run lead on two home runs and an error as usual position player Derek Peterson blew the save.
Justin Burns was magnificent starting for the ‘Chucks, going seven shutout innings after throwing five innings only two nights prior.
Both teams tallied seven hits and committed three errors, but the ‘Chucks prevailed in the foremost column.
The ‘Chucks have now won seven of nine against the Rafters in 2011, with one game remaining at Witter Field.
With the win, the ‘Chucks blocked a possible tie for last place, and forced a tie with the Rafters for sixth place in the South Division, now sitting at 10—14.
After starters Justin Burns and Jacob Doyle exchanged zero's for four innings, the Woodchucks broke through and put the night's first runs on the board in the fifth inning
Aaron Gates was hit by a pitch to start the inning, before Robbie De La Cruz reached on an error that allowed Gates to score. Danny Susdorf followed to hit a double to score De La Cruz and give the ‘Chucks a 2—0 lead.
Doyle pitched well, but exited after only four and 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, one run and one walk, while striking out two. One run went unearned, as his defense committed three errors while he was on the mound.
Burns – who pitched five innings only two nights earlier – threw a masterful seven shutout innings. Enduring through two fielding errors, Burns allowed only three hits and one walk, taking a no-decision while striking out five.
Cam Seidl made his Northwoods League debut for the Rafters in the seventh inning after replacing Skyler Debilzen – who stranded two runs in scoring position after relieving Doyle – and retired the Woodchucks in order. Jamie Bruno, however, led off the eighth inning with a solo homerun, giving the ‘Chucks a three-run lead.
Derek Peterson, a regular corner infielder, made his fourth appearance on the mound in the eighth, and retired the Rafters in order. Up 3—0, Peterson allowed a leadoff homerun to Brandon Hohl, before another Woodchucks' error allowed a runner on – allowing Joshua Cyr to tie the game with his own homerun.
Kyle Peterson came on to work for the Rafters, and put down the ‘Chucks in order, before allowing a single, two walks, and a game-winning Aaron Gates single – all with two outs – in the tenth inning.
Gabe Feldman, who pitched a scoreless frame in the Rafters' half of the tenth, took his first win as a Woodchuck.
With the Wisconsin Valley Fair coming to Wausau, the ‘Chucks will take to the road and play seven straight away from Athletic Park – returning Monday, August 8, for the final three home games of the season.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Woodchucks