For Wausau Pilot & Review
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Chance after chance eluded the Wausau Woodchucks in a 2-1 loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in Northwoods League baseball action at Witter Field on Wednesday.
Wausau cut an early deficit to 2-1 on Kevin Kilpatrick’s (Houston) RBI single in the top of the fifth. In each successive inning, they left the tying run in scoring position, lacking the necessary hit.
The Rafters (30-6) scored their two runs in the bottom of the first inning – one of which was unearned.
But Jack Wenninger (Illinois) held them hitless over the next four innings. The Chucks righty struck out five and walked just one, earning a hard-luck loss dropping his season record to 1-1.
Dawson Lane (Florida Southern) pitched a scoreless sixth inning before Nick Marshall (West Texas A&M) set down the Rafters in order over the final two. The Woodchucks held the first half champs to just three hits in the loss.
Brent Widder (Evansville) broke up a perfect game bid with a bunt single in the top of the fourth. The base hit was one of his two in the game, extending his on-base streak to 22 games.
Brock Watkins (BYU) extended his hitting streak to eight with a broken-bat single in the fifth, later scoring the Chucks’ lone run.
In the ninth, Zach Levenson (Miami) singled with one out. Ben Abernathy (UAB) pinch-ran, advancing to second on a groundout. But he was stranded there as Kilpatrick grounded out to end the ballgame.
The Woodchucks (17-20) start the second half 0-1, looking for revenge Thursday against these same Rafters at Athletic Park in Wausau, which starts a five-game homestand. The Rafters have now won six of the seven matchups in this year’s rivalry after the Woodchucks won nine of 12 meetings last season.