The Rafters swept their first double head of the season while claiming their fifth and sixth wins of the year against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Rafters won the first game in convincing fashion as Jonathan Moroney paced the offensive attack in game one with a two-RBI afternoon at Witter Field.
Game number one was a continuation of a postponed ballgame between the Rafters and Woodchucks on June 15. The Raters and Woodchucks picked the ballgame up in top of the third inning with the Rafters leading, 1-0.
Three Rafters led the way with multi-hit games as Taylor Stell, Jeremy Montalbano, and Moroney all added two hits apiece, while the three Texas natives combined to produce three of the teams six RBI.
Wisconsin Rapids would add two runs to their lead in the third inning as Stell reached on an infield single. Donnie Dewees immediately followed with a single up the middle, giving the Rafters runners at first and second. Dewees and Stell would score on a two-RBI double by Moroney. The double in the third inning was the second extra-base hit of the afternoon.
The Rafters would added to their three run lead in the eighth inning as they struck for their second big inning of the ballgame. Dewees led off the eighth by roping a single to right field and Robbie Coman added his second hit of the game on a bouncing ball to left field that gave the Rafters runners at first and second with Montalbano at the plate.
Montalbano would add to the lead as the Texas Longhorn laced a double off the left field wall. The extra-base hit gave Montalbano an RBI, while breaking a 3-3 tie and gave the Rafters a lead, 4-3. The lead would continue to grow as Cort Brinson, batting for the fourth time, added a single to left field, plating another run. The base hit by Brinson marked his second of the game and his first multi-hit game of the season. Wisconsin Rapids would add another run in the eight on an RBI single by Stell as the Rafters claimed game number one, 6-3.
Game No. 2 was a back-and-forth affair as the Woodchucks struck for three early runs off Rafters starting pitcher, Brad Stroik. Stroik walked two batters and issued just one single as the Rafters found themselves in an early hole, 3-0.
The Rafters would score all four of their runs in game two with two outs, as the Rafters responded with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Montalbano reached on a single to left field and Derek Peake followed with a single over the head of Madison Carter. With runners at first and second, Charlie Curl drew a two-out walk, giving the Rafters the bases loaded with two outs in the inning. George Ragsdale followed with a two-RBI single to left field, plating Montalbano and Peake. Erik Payne would tie the game on an RBI single up the middle, 3-3.
The offenses went silence throughout the middle innings as Rafters starter, Stroik, settled into a grove scattering three hits throughout the third and sixth innings. Western Illinois', Tyler Willman would eventually replace Stroik. Willman worked a scoreless seventh inning to earn his second win of the day while tossing two 2/3 innings between game one and two.
The Rafters plated the winning run in familiar fashion as Curl and Coman reached in the bottom of the seventh on infield hits with two outs, putting the winning run in scoring position with Payne up to the plate. Payne would bounce a ball to the shortstop Carter would tried to make a force out at third base but over threw the ball over Kirby Taylor's head. The throwing error by Carter allowed Curl to score from second giving the Rafters their third walk-off win of the season. The Rafters won a similar game against the Woodchucks after Cody Semler over threw the baseball on a similar play. The win was the fourth in the Rafters five ballgames and moved the team within one game of .500 on the season.
The double header was the second of the season for the Rafters and marked the first time the club has swept a double header this season. The two wins over the Woodchucks also clinched the season series between the two squads, six games to none.
The Rafters will look to extend their winning streak tomorrow evening when they travel to Athletic Park for their third consecutive game against the Woodchucks at 6:36 p.m. The Rafters are 3-0 this season at Athletic Park.
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