For Wausau Pilot & Review

WAUSAU – The Wausau Woodchucks rolled to a 12-3 win over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on Friday night at Athletic Park, earning a split in the two-game Northwoods League baseball series.

Stellar pitching combined with unmatched batting drove the Chucks (24-22 overall, 7-3 second half) to victory over the Rafters (37-9, 8-3 second half), with 13 hits – five of which were home runs – and nine total strikeouts by Chucks pitchers Nate Madej (Florida Southern), Cade Denton (Oral Robers), and Christian Orr (Columbia International).

Madej struck out the very first Rafters batter in just three pitches to get the game started off strong. At bat, Hunter Dorraugh (San Jose State) launched a home run into left field to score the first two runs of the game for the Chucks in the first.

In the bottom of the third, Ryan Sepede (BYU) slammed a home run over the center field fence to plate Dorraugh and Zach Levenson (Miami), bringing in three more runs for the Woodchucks. Immediately following Sepede’s homer, Chase Hug (Evansville) also caught the home run fever, hitting a home run to center field to score another run, bringing the Chucks to a lead of 6-3.

In an apparent home run derby amongst themselves, Levenson hammered a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Woodchucks another run.

During the bottom of the fifth, Dwight Allen (Georgia), Ben Abernathy (UAB), and Dorraugh each hit singles to load the bases. The Rafters pitcher then walked Levenson, giving the Chucks another run. Abernathy plated a run on a sac fly by Sepede. Hug then hit his second home run of the night, smacking a three-run bomb to center field, extending the Chucks lead to a whopping 12-3, which it would remain at through the end of the game.