Rafters Drop to Bombers in Extras, 6-5August 3, 2012 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
In a back-and-forth contest, Battle Creek drew first blood. Collecting four hits in the first two innings, the Bombers tallied three runs off of Rafters' starter Ben Heller (JR, Olivet Nazarene Univ). A solo home run from Chris Sujka, the last batter in the order, made it 3-0 after an inning and a half. The hard throwing right-hander mowed down his opponents from then on, however, allowing his teammates to fight back.
And fight back they did. The resilient Rafters offense tied the game in the bottom of the second. Three straight batters knocked in runs, the final coming from Jordan Dreiling (JR, Univ. of Kansas) who collected his second extra-base hit of the season, an RBI double scoring Kenny Towns (FR, Univ. of Virginia) to make it 3-3.
Wisconsin Rapids took their first lead of the game in the fourth. Alex Bacon (SO, Univ. of North Florida) touched home on a fielder's choice from Aaron Gretz (FR, Ohio State Univ.) who collected two RBIs on the night.
With the lead, Heller continued to dominate. He allowed only one base hit after the second inning. The Whitewater native retired twelve Bombers in a row at one point. Leading off the seventh, an error allowed Dylan Delaney to reach, and Heller's night, at 97 pitches, was done. The run would score. Heller finished his night with six innings pitched, allowing four runs, three earned, on just five hits. He also struck out eight batters, his second-best total of the season, which pulls him within one of the single-season franchise record.
Down 5-4 in the eighth, Wisconsin Rapids tied the game up off of the back-end of the Battle Creek bullpen. Brian Heldman, who came in with a sub-2.00 ERA loaded the bases, and then walked in a run, tying the game at 5-5. The closer Alex Tukey, though, got out of the jam, and the game went to extra innings.
Battle Creek scored in the top half of the tenth off of Skyler Debilzen (JR, UW-La Crosse), who pitched four innings in relief of Heller. The Rafters were unable to respond and lost 6-5.
Debilzen (0-4) took the loss, extending the Rafters' losing streak to six games, tying the longest of the seaon. Tukey (3-3), who threw 2.2 innings of hitless and scoreless baseball, collected the win, striking out six Rafters.
The teams go head-to-head once again Friday with the season series in the Rafters' favor at 3-2. It will be the 100th Rafters game at Witter Field, presented by the Founding Partners. Gates open early at 5:15 pm and all tap beers will be just $1 for the first 100 minutes. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
Northwoods League Stories from August 3, 2012
- Rox Win Third Straight - St. Cloud Rox
- Rafters Lose One-Run Affair - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
- Stingers Win Rain-Shortened Game against Duluth, 7-4 - Willmar Stingers
- Scheffert Cooks up Mallards with Huge Night - Madison Mallards
- Bullfrogs Rally Late, Lose in Ninth - Green Bay Bullfrogs
- Bombers Earn Wire-to-Wire Victory - Battle Creek Bombers
- MoonDogs vs. Alexandria game postponed - Alexandria Beetles
- Woodchucks Enjoy a Chinook Fish Fry in Friday Nights 5-1 Loss - Lakeshore Chinooks
- Stadler throws five perfect innings, Chucks win 5-1 - Wisconsin Woodchucks
- Honkers Blow Early Lead, Lose to Bucks 7-5 - Rochester Honkers
- Goose Droppings - Rochester Honkers
- Dan Straily to Make Big League Debut - Northwoods
- Mallards Look to Stay Hot on the Road - Madison Mallards
- Bullfrogs Take Down First-Place Loggers - Green Bay Bullfrogs
- Rafters Drop to Bombers in Extras, 6-5 - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
- Stingers Drop Opener to Duluth, 10-7 - Willmar Stingers
- Shay Gives Bombers Win in Extras - Battle Creek Bombers
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