Wisconsin Rapids, WI - With the scoreboard long switched off after counting a 15-5 loss by the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, fans at Witter Field did not want to say good bye to summer after the La Crosse Loggers handed the Rafters a final game loss.
With their hometown heroes assembled for just one more time after the game, a large chunk of the more than 2,300 fans that turned out for the final game, stayed on the field up the third base line at Witter, long after the game ended.
The final game of the season started with La Crosse jumping out to a 4-0 lead on starter Brad Douthit. The Rafters did give their fans something to cheer for, tying the game with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Josh Cyr drove in a pair of runs with a single to end the season with 39 RBI, a new franchise high.
Douthit struggled in the fifth inning of his final start as a Rafter. The lefty eventually left the game in the fifth inning, allowing six runs on ten hits to take the loss and end his season at 5-6. Douthit, with a team high 79.1 innings pitched still put together a solid summer of starting and ends the season as the Rafters franchise leader in wins, innings, strike-outs and ERA.
Pitching struggled on the whole for the Rafters as four Rafters arms combined to allow 15 runs and 22 hits in the season's final game. Nine of the runs scored for the loggers came in the last three innings. The Rafters, despite just five hits on the day, still gave themselves chances to win. The clutch hit however, seemed to elude the Rafters as they left the bases loaded in the fourth and sixth and left runners on in the fifth and seventh.
The loss gives the Rafters an improved overall record of 24-46 in their second season in the Northwoods League. In all the Rafters ended the summer 1-9 against the La Crosse Loggers and 16-21 in the second half. The 16 wins marks the most by a Rafters team in any half in their short two season history.
Courtesy: Rafters Sports Information