Soucy and Smith combine for 5 RBI, Josephina picks up another save in 6-4 win
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters had only lost two games this season before Tuesday. After Tuesday’s pair of games, that loss total doubled. After the Wisconsin Woodchucks (8-13) won the opening half of the doubleheader in Wausau, they headed on the road to capture the second half as well in a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Rapids (17-4).
The Chucks’ chances to sweep looked good with Heath Hawkins on the hill, but the Rafters made sure his start was a short one. Jake Guenther doubled home Bryson Stott and scored on a Sean Sutton single for a 2-0 Rafters lead after two, and Stott drove home Nick Anderson in the third to make the lead three.
Wisconsin finally got to Rapids starter Sam Carver in the fifth. Aaron Soucy singled to lead off the frame and Nolan Ryan pinpointed a double down the left field line to put two men in scoring position, and Andrew Smith remained hot, driving them both home with a single to right to make it 3-2.
Hawkins’ day was done after three, but Rapids struck for one more in the fifth against Armando Gonzalez as Stott drove home Anderson again to make it 4-2. Carver had pitched into, but not through, the sixth twice this year, and his efforts to complete six were punished. Stevie Mangrum led off the frame with a walk, and Dalton Reed singled to put two men on. Two batters later, up stepped Soucy, who blasted a three-run homer, his first of the year, over the wall in left to put the Chucks ahead 5-4.
The Chucks pushed the lead out to two in the eighth when Mangrum walked and scored on an error, and the Rafters could not close the gap. Daniel Sprinkle through one scoreless inning, Lenny Gwizdala threw two, and Orsen Josephina tossed a perfect ninth to tally his league-leading seventh save of the season and clinch the 6-4 Wisconsin win.
The Woodchucks return home for a two-game home series against Kalamazoo on Wednesday in Wausau. Kellen Rholl will start for the Chucks in their first matchup of the year with the Growlers, which starts at 6:35 PM.
Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and the 2017 Northwoods League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, presented by Ascension. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.