One night after the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters lost in extra innings to the Lakeshore Chinooks, the Rafters flipped the tables and downed the Wisconsin Woodchucks in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim their first win of 2013, 5-4.
Derek Peake led-off the ninth inning with a hit by pitch and Jeremy Montalbano dropped a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher, Austin Orewiler, to move the wining run into scoring position. With one out in the ninth, Michael Herman, who scored one of the Rafters five runs, laced a bouncing ball right to the Woodchucks shortstop, Cody Semler. Semler fielded the ball cleanly, then proceeded to airmail the throw to third over Woodchucks third basemen, Madison Carter's head. The error allowed Peake to score the winning run to give Wisconsin Rapids the win, 5-4
The Rafters pitching staff was the story as the game as three different Rafters combined to strikeout 14 Woodchuck hitters. Greg Maisto, a freshman out of Texas A&M, threw five strong innings and carved up five batters while limiting the Wisconsin attack to just three runs. Maisto, pitching for the first time in ‘13 after redshirting his freshman season at Texas A&M, scattered just three hits and twirled 97 pitches, 57 for strikes. Maisto's start was the longest by a Rafter pitcher this year and marked the first time that a Wisconsin Rapids starting pitcher threw more than two complete innings.
The Rafters used a duo of talented bullpen arms to slam the door on the Woodchucks. Mike Mestdagh and Nick Kolarik, pitching on back-to-back days, conceded just two hits over the final four innings of the game, while striking out nine batters between the two.
Friday nights game was a back-and-forth affair as the two teams exchanged the lead on two different occasion, with the Rafters rallying from a two-run deficit after Wisconsin jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the Woodchucks sixth.
Taylor Stell, out of the University of Texas, led the Rafters attack in the first after reaching on a walk. Stell, who reached base on four consecutive balls, stole second and then