By David Keech
August 10, 2017
Rockford, IL— In one inning, Wisconsin Rapids (50-19, 23-10) seized control of Thursday night on the road in Rockford (38-30, 21-13) for a record-setting 12-2 victory from Rivets Stadium. With the win, the Rafters earned their 50th win on the season to break the record for most wins in a single season in franchise history.
With the victory, the Rafters are now 4-3 against Rockford this year with one game left in the season series.
Rockford started early on Thursday with a run in the first with two out offense. Bren Spillane singled and Brian Klein walked. Spillane stole third, and the throw went over Alex Holderbach at third to score Spillane and put the Rivets on top 1-0.
It took until the fourth for the Rafters offense to get on the board, but they did so in record-breaking fashion. Bryson Stott led off the inning with a single, and Ryan Stekl doubled him home to tie the game. Dustin Woodcock followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners, and Alex Holderbach notched a single to give the Rafters their first lead of the game, 2-1.
With no outs, Scott Kapers crushed a three-run homer in the inning to extend the Rafters lead 5-1. Michael Ruffolo drew a walk and Charlie McConnell was hit by a pitch. Nick Anderson also drew a walk to load the bases.
On a 3-1 count, Stott unloaded the bases with a grand slam to extend the Rafters lead to 9-1. With a man on base, Holderbach roped a double to give the Rafters a 10-1 lead. The 10 runs in the inning mark the most the Rafters have scored in one frame in franchise history.
Rockford earned a run back in the bottom of the inning on a Logan Michaels sacrifice fly. The Rafters countered that run in the fifth when McConnell singled home Ruffolo to give the Rafters an 11-2 lead. Woodcock pushed the lead to 10 for the Rafters with a solo home run in the eighth, his 10th on the season.
Grant Gunderson (2-1) entered the mound in the third, tossing four innings of one-run baseball to earn the win. Josh Aguilar finished the game with three innings of scoreless baseball to earn his first save of the season. Alex Bacevicius (3-1) allowed seven earned runs in the fourth inning, picking up his first loss on the season.
With a chance to sweep the series on their last road trip, the Rafters finish the series with the Rivets on Friday at Rivets Stadium at 6:35 p.m. Pregame coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.