Rafters Hit Two Home Runs to Race Past Eau Claire, 5-1 - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Rafters Hit Two Home Runs to Race Past Eau Claire, 5-1


June 22, 2013

Eau Claire, WI- For the third straight game, John Kravetz, threw seven spectacular innings and scattered five hits while allowing one-run as the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters downed the Eau Claire Express, 5-1, in a speedy game that took just over two hours to complete. The win was the third of the season for Kravetz, as the Illinois star has now issued just two earned runs in 21 innings pitched this season while lowering his ERA to a sparkling 0.86.

The Rafters launched two home runs as Jackson Slaid and Erik Payne hit their fifth home runs of the season, the two long balls by Slaid and Payne tied a team-high for home runs hit in a ballgame this season for the Rafters, while moving the two into the top-five in the Northwoods league for home runs.

The Rafters got on the board early when Slaid led off the top of the second inning with his fifth home run of the season that sailed over the right-center wall; the opposite field home run was the first of his five hit to opposite field and came on a 2-0 count for his second solo-home run of the season. The home run gave the Rafters the lead, 1-0. Slaid has now hit safely in his last two games after failing to record a hit in his previous five.

Wisconsin Rapids would add to their one-run lead in the top of the third inning as Marcus Wheeler reached on a single to right field. Charlie Curl followed with an infield hit and Taylor Stell reached base after taking a fastball off the right-handed hitters front shoulder. The hit-by-pitch gave the Rafters the bases loaded with Derek Peake stepping to the plate. Peake launched a fly ball that was misplayed by the Express left-fielder, Tim Wise. The error by Wise led to the Rafters second run of the game making the score, 2-0. Donnie Dewees added an RBI-single to right to give the Rafters another run. The final run of the inning would come when Slaid grounded in to a 6-4-3 double play. The Rafters led at the end of the third, 4-0.

Payne would add to the lead as he hunted a first-pitch fastball that sailed over the left field wall. Payne has now homered in two of his last four ballgames and the home run gave the Rafters a comfortable 5-0 that the team never relinquished.

Nick Pettus closed out the ballgame by throwing a scoreless eighth and ninth inning. The scoreless frames added to an impressive streak for the Texas Tech-bound junior as Pettus has now allowed just an one earned run in his last eight innings of work, with the only run coming in two innings of relief on June 20 against the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

The Rafters offensive attack awoke to strike for a seven-hits that was led by a multi-hit evening by Kansas', Marcus Wheeler. The seven hits came on the heels of a woeful three-hit game Friday evening against Eau Claire. Wheeler was the only Rafter to record multiple hits in the game.

The win by the Rafters claimed the second of three games between the two clubs with the rubber match coming in the form of a Sunday matinee at 5:05 p.m. The Rafters are 2-1 this season in games played on Sunday.

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