WAUSAU, WI – Six runs allowed in the fifth and another in the sixth were the difference for the Wisconsin Woodchucks against the visiting Wisconsin Rapids Rafters at Athletic Park Friday night.

Playing in front of a crowd of 2,394 in Wausau, the Chucks couldn’t overcome seven unanswered Rafter runs on their way to a 10-3 loss. It was the final regular season game of 2021 in Wausau, and was pivotal for the Woodchucks’ playoff hopes.

Wisconsin is now 43-28 overall heading into its final matchup Saturday night, and 22-14 in the second half of the Northwoods League season.

An Anthony Catalano solo home run put the Woodchucks up 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth. But the Rafters took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish one frame later.

The Chucks were outhit 13-8 on Friday and committed two errors compared to error-free baseball for Wisconsin Rapids.

Ryan Sepede did mash a two-run homer to left in the sixth.

The Rafters then added a run in the eighth on a wild pitch and two in the ninth off a solo home run and sacrifice fly. Position player Antonio Valdez pitched the ninth for the Chucks.

With one more matchup between the teams, the Woodchucks lead the season series over the Rafters, 8-3.

Playoff Race Update

The Madison Mallards beat the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders at home Friday night. Madison is now tied atop the Great Lakes West second half standings with the Dock Spiders. The Woodchucks are one game behind both teams.

Wisconsin can earn a Northwoods League playoff spot Saturday with a Mallards’ loss to Fond du Lac in the state capital. That result would place the Woodchucks in their first postseason since 2014, regardless of what the Chucks do in their season finale in Wisconsin Rapids.

That is because with the Woodchucks out of the second half division title race, they will rely upon first half champion Fond du Lac to win the second half and give the Chucks the Great Lakes West’s second playoff berth by virtue of having the second best overall record.

Top Performers

Starting pitcher Cade Denton had four scoreless frames before exiting the contest after five innings pitched. He struck out 10 Rafters.

Sepede went 2-4 with a two-run home run and a double.

Catalano had a solo homer.

Payton Nelson was 2-4 with a run.

Next Up

The Woodchucks travel to Wisconsin Rapids Saturday night for the regular season finale.

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters 10 @ Wisconsin Woodchucks 3

Game Date: Friday August 13th, 2021


W: Hemmerling (3-0, 2.23 ERA) L: Denton (1-2, 4.40 ERA) SV: Chafin (1)

Gardiner, Lance LF 6122.281
Erves, Mckinley RF 5112.335
Exposito, Ej SS 5222.258
Castillo, Marco 1B 2000.265
– Swords, Benjamin PH  1B 3000.255
Chatham, Cael DH 3100.273
Schulz, Jake 3B 5021.364
Eberly, Weston C 4211.241
Holley, Reeve 2B 5140.208
Mann, Blake CF 2210.212
Nelson, Payton CF 4120.455
Catalano, Anthony 3B  2B 4111.231
Sepede, Ryan RF 4122.296
McCabe, Ben 1B 4000.192
Mehlbauer, Clayton SS 3010.222
Simmons, Aaron LF 4010.273
Watkins, Brock DH 3010.200
– Bessard, Chase 3B 0000.226
Vincent, Colton C 3000.169
Valdez, Antonio P  2B 3000.159

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

2B: L. Gardiner 1 (2); W. Eberly 1 (6); J. Schulz 1 (1);

HR: E. Exposito 1 (4);

RBI: L. Gardiner 2 (10); M. Erves 2 (39); E. Exposito 2 (49); J. Schulz 1 (3); W. Eberly 1 (9);

SB: J. Schulz 1 (1); B. Mann 1 (8); R. Holley 1 (16);

Team LOB: 9;

Wisconsin Woodchucks

2B: R. Sepede 1 (2); B. Watkins 1 (1);

HR: A. Catalano 1 (3); R. Sepede 1 (5);

RBI: A. Catalano 1 (18); R. Sepede 2 (22);

CS: C. Mehlbauer 1 (3);

E: A. Catalano 1 (16); C. Vincent 1 (7);

Team LOB: 3;

Hemmerling, Nathan5.04111412.23
– Chafin, Tanner4.04220311.59
Denton, Cade5.076321004.40
– Fochs, Chandler3.03221204.05
– Valdez, Antonio1.032220121.60

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

SO: N. Hemmerling 4 (39); T. Chafin 3 (8);

BB: N. Hemmerling 1 (13);

BF: N. Hemmerling 18 (154); T. Chafin 15 (41);

P-S: N. Hemmerling 66-42; T. Chafin 52-35;

Wisconsin Woodchucks

WP: C. Fochs 1 (2);

SO: C. Denton 10 (23); C. Fochs 2 (6);

BB: C. Denton 2 (10); C. Fochs 1 (3); A. Valdez 2 (2);

BF: C. Denton 25 (137); C. Fochs 13 (28); A. Valdez 8 (15);

P-S: C. Denton 99-68; C. Fochs 50-33; A. Valdez 23-13;

Umpires: Plate: J. Wason 1B: J. Crossett 3B: R. Minter

Weather: Sunny

Start time: 6:35 pm (Central)

Duration: 02:40:00

Attendance: 2394

Venue: Athletic Park