Wausau, WI – June 7, 2012 – The Rafters (5-4) first trip to Wausau was an unsuccessful one, as the Rafters gave up a 7th inning lead to lose 6-5 to the Woodchucks (5-4). The loss ended the Rafters time in sole possession atop the NWL South division after just one night. Lakeshore, Madison, and La Crosse are now tied with the Rafters and Woodchucks for a five-way tie for the top spot.
Josh Cyr (JR, Univ. of North Alabama) knocked in his tenth run in the first to give the Rafters their first lead Thursday, and it was the beginning of a wild night. An error, a walk, and two singles given up Rafters starting pitcher Nestor Bautista (SO, Ball St. Univ.) give the Woodchucks the lead 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning.
The lead would change five times in the ballgame, and it was knotted up three times as well. Through the middle innings, however, it looked as if the Rafters would find their fourth win in as many nights. In his Rafters debut, Nick Ammirati (JR, Mississippi State Univ.) scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, giving the Rafters a 5-4 lead. Ammirati went 2-for-5 in his debut with a run. The 5-4 would prove to be the sturdiest lead of the evening for either side.
In relief of the ineffective Alex Vetter (5.0 IP, 5 R, 4 ER), Jackson Lawry bought the Woodchucks time, though. He tossed four scoreless innings, striking out seven. In the bottom of the seventh, the Woodchucks would find the plate against Mark Kowalke to tie it, and Jake Long allowed a run in the eighth as well.
The final chance for the Rafters in the ninth looked promising when Josh Cyr lead off the inning taking a ball of his shoulder. It was the first runner to reach against Lowery other than Sean Godfrey who reached on a dropped third strike. The Rafters went away after that, however. Lowery retired the next three in order to pick up his second win. Jake Long (JR, UW-Milwaukee) took the loss in his first decision.
Brandon Hohl (JR, Univ. of Illinois) and Alex Bacon (SO, Univ. of North Florida) extended their on-base streak to nine games.
The Rafters take on the Woodchucks again tomorrow in Wausau in the rubbermatch of the three-game set. Wisconsin Rapids returns to Witter Field for three this weekend, taking on Lakeshore
(5-4) Saturday and Sunday and on Monday, Green Bay (3-5) comes to town for the first time.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters