9-7 Rafters rally to top Woodchucks, 9-7 - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

9-7 Rafters rally to top Woodchucks, 9-7

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters rallied for the second straight night to top the Wisconsin Woochcucks, 9-7, and swept the short two-game series from the Woodchucks to improve to 2-1. The win gave the Rafters the top spot in the Northwoods League south division.

The Rafters were led offensively by Virginia Tech prospect, Erik Payne. Payne went 2-for-6 with two RBI, including blasting his team-leading second home run of the year in the top of the fourth inning on a 3-0 pitch.

The Rafters got out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, plating two runs for and early lead. Payne led the inning off by reaching on an error by the short stop, Brandon Kreig. With Payne on first, and nobody out, Taylor Stell, drew a 3-1 walk that advanced Payne to first and give the Rafters runners at first and second. Wisconsin Rapids would strike early, though, as Kansas freshman, Marcus Wheeler, lined a 2 RBI double to left field to give the Rafters the early lead, 2-0.

The offensive attack continued in the the second inning as the Rafters tagged Woodchucks starter, Seth Davis, for two more runs as Wayne State sophomore, Michael Herman, making his first start of the year in the field, jumped on a first-pitch fastball that sailed over the left field wall. The home run was Herman's first of the year of the year. The scoring continued as second basemen Riley Spetz, who recorded three hit-by-pitches in the game, was awarded first base after a fastball tagged his right shoulder. Spetz then followed by stealing second base for his first stolen base. Spetz would eventually score on a throwing error giving the Rafters a 4-0 lead.

Wisconsin Rapids would need every run as the Woodchucks would respond with single runs in the bottom of the second and fourth inning before exploding for four runs in the the fifth frame on just four hits, giving the Woodchucks their first lead of the game, 6-5.

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