The Rafters were knocked around for a season-high 17 hits Saturday night in front of 1,324 fans at Witter Park, losing to the upstart Lakeshore Chinooks 7-2. The Chinooks stand at first in the NWL South after the win, which ended the Rafters home winning-streak at four games.
The Chinooks struck early and often, battering around starter Tommy Organ (JR, Univ. of North Florida) in his third start. Lakeshore tallied eight hits off the Florida native, and they did it in bunches, with three in the fourth and five in the sixth. Lakeshore carried a commanding 5-0 lead into the 7th when the Rafters finally cranked out a run on a single, a wild pitch, and two groundouts. They found another in the ninth when Alex Bacon (SO, Univ. of North Florida) scored after leading off the inning with a single. Nick Ammirati (JR, Miss. St. Univ) singled him in as a pinch hitter.
But it would not be enough, as the Rafters were outhit and outpitched in the first ever meeting against the Chinooks. One of the lone bright spots was the defense. With the regular second baseman Pat Kelly (FR, Univ. of Nebraska) out with a toe injury, the Rafters played Austin Neary (FR, Western Carolina Univ.) at third and Brandon Hohl (JR, Univ. of Illinois) at the two-bag for the first time this year. The group put up a zero in the error column, as the Rafters had fewer errors than their opponent for the 10th time in 11 games.
Bacon's hit in the ninth extended his on-base streak to a perfect eleven games eleven contests in. Chinook outfielder and leadoff hitter Charlie Markson collected a single as well, stretching his hitting streak to eleven as well, the only such streak in the league.
The Rafters play the Chinooks one more time tomorrow, at Witter Field in Rapids, before hosting the Bullfrogs from Green Bay on Monday night. Sunday's first pitch is at 1:05 pm, the first day game for the Rafters in 2012.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters