The Wisconsin Woodchuck bats fired up midway through their home opener Tuesday against the Wisconsin Rapids Rapids. Seeking two-game, season-opening series sweep over their neighbors from Wood County, the offense came early and often for the Chucks in a 16-5 win.
Patience at the plate was also on display, with the Chucks drawing 19 walks at Athletic Park, including six in the eighth inning. The Woodchucks batted over .400 Tuesday night, with nine hits and two extra base hits.
After briefly falling behind a run in the top of the third inning, Wisconsin scored four runs in the home half of the third, three in the fourth, one in the fifth, four in the seventh and four in the eighth.
Starting pitcher Nate Madej allowed four runs in four innings pitched. Osvaldo Mendez, DJ Schultz and Jace Baumann came out of the bullpen and surrendered just one combined run in the eighth, protecting the Woodchuck batters’ robust evening at the plate.
Kevin Kilpatrick: Double, a triple, a walk and two RBIs in five plate appearances. He also had an outfield assist to third base in the fifth inning to preserve a budding Woodchucks lead.
Norris McClure: 2-2 with two walks and two hits.
Tyler Kehoe: 2-3, with three walks and an RBI.
JD Schultz: Three innings pitched, one hit, no runs, three walks and six strikeouts.
The Woodchucks continue their season opening homestead Wednesday with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch against the Madison Mallards at Athletic Park.