The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have only lost three games this season. Two of them have come at the hand of the Wisconsin Woodchucks (7-13). Tuesday morning’s game was tight for awhile, but the Woodchucks exploded for four runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh en route to a 9-3 victory over the Rafters (17-3).
Rapids starter Quinn DiPasquale had made two very good starts before Tueaday, while Woodchucks starter Korey Rasure’s debut didn’t quite go according to plan. They both flipped their scripts Tuesday morning in Wausau. The Woodchucks struck first in the second when Dalton Reed singled, advanced to third on an error, and scored on a Nolan Ryan sac fly. Rapids responded with two in the third thanks to a two-RBI single from Ryan Stekl.
The scoreline remained unchanged until the sixth, and that’s were things fell apart for DiPasquale. Tristan Clarke doubled the lead off the frame and Stevie Mangrum singled him home to level the score. Chad Fleischman and Reed both followed with singles of their own, and all three sluggers scored in the frame to make it 5-2 Wisconsin. Rapids got one back in the bottom half against reliever Josh Bottenfield on a Charlie McConnell hit to pull within two.
The Rafters would not get closer. Mangrum singled home Milton Rivera in the seventh, Reed drove home Mangrum and Clarke and Ryan drove home Reed to push the Wisconsin lead out to six. Andreas Papageorge and Tyler Luneke both delivered scoreless innings to ice the 9-3 victory.
Rasure delivered just the second quality start of the Woodchucks’ season in his own second start, paving the way for the late offense to emerge. Rasure allowed just the two runs over six innings with five hits, two walks, and nine punch-outs to improve his record to 1-1. DiPasquale turned in the worst performance of his excellent young season, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits over five-plus frames to get saddled with his first loss.
Doubleheader day continues later Tuesday as both teams make the short trek south to Witter Field for the second half of the action. First pitch in Rapids is slated for 7:05 PM and will feature Heath Hawkins for the Woodchucks against Sam Carver for the Rapids.
(Woodchucks Facebook photo)