WOODCHUCKS SECURE SWEEP IN EXTRAS
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI – It wouldn’t be a Woodchucks-Rafters game without a dose of drama.
Behind a pair of dominant pitching performances and a clutch hit from Kevin Kilpatrick, the visiting ‘Chucks had just enough in the tank to pull out a 3-2 extra-inning victory at Witter Field Friday night.
The second of a two-game series between the local rivals was a tense affair throughout.
In the early innings, starters Ryan Lobus and Jack Gonzales were locked in a pitcher’s duel. Two timely double plays helped the Chucks keep the Rafters off the board.
The scoreless tie ended in the top of the fifth when Tyler Kehoe’s no-doubter over the right field wall put the Chucks ahead 2-0. Kehoe’s first homer of the year extended his current hitting streak to seven games.
Lobus escaped a jam in the bottom of the sixth after Kevin Kilpatrick’s leaping catch on the left field warning track. Lobus has now pitched 13 consecutive innings without allowing a run. Over 16 innings pitched at Witter Field this season, Lobus has shut out the Rafters.
Unfortunately for the Woodchucks’ ace, he would not earn a win Friday night. A base hit, a pair of infield singles and a balk helped Wisconsin Rapids scratch across the game-tying runs in the bottom of the seventh off of relievers Jace Baumann (to whom the runs were charged) and Tom Kane.
Antonio Valdez doubled to lead off the ninth, but the Rafters were able to escape what became a bases-loaded jam. Tom Kane came back to the mound and worked a 1-2-3 inning to force extras for the third time in the Woodchucks’ season.
With two outs in the top of the tenth, Kilpatrick’s RBI single to center field plated pinch runner Jacob Schoenvogel, who started the inning at second base. The base hit would tally RBI number 20 for Kilpatrick, whose heroics have played a major role in the season series.
Kane would slam the door in the tenth and strand the tying run that started the inning at second. He totaled six strikeouts, picking up his first win of the season and keeping his ERA at a perfect 0.00 through five outings.
With the win, the Woodchucks sweep the Rafters and now own a 5-1 record against them this season. They improve to 17-9, one win above their total from last season’s 16-31 campaign.
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