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Bullpen shines as Woodchucks break losing skid Friday

Woody Woodchuck
Woody Woodchuck

LACROSSE, Wis. (WSAU-WOODCHUCKS)  -- The Wisconsin Woodchucks bullpen provided four innings of scoreless relief, allowing only one baserunner, as the ‘Chucks defeated the La Crosse Loggers 5-2 to stop a nine-game losing streak.

The Woodchucks would capitalize on an erratic first inning by Logger starter Liam Rafferty. Rafferty uncorked several wild pitches, hit Austin Diemer, walked John Clay Reeves before a Damek Tomscha single drove in Diemer to put the ‘Chucks on top 1-0.  After Woodchuck starter Danny Young set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, the ‘Chucks added to their lead in the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Diemer flew out to right, bringing home Josh Goossen-Brown and extending the lead to two runs. A third run would score on a throwing error by Rafferty as he tried to pick Tyler Stieb off of first base, scoring Kirby Taylor and sending Stieb to third. Stieb would eventually score on a wild pitch to make it 4-0 ‘Chucks.

The Loggers would battle back in the second, getting on the board for the first time against Young. Max McDowell would score on a single by Brandon DeFazio to left field. Nick Day attempted to score on the play as well, but he was gunned down at the plate by Rob Bennie to keep the score at 4-1 in favor of the Woodchucks.

The two teams would trade zeroes until the fourth, where the Loggers would again cut into the Woodchucks’ lead. Bobby Juan hit a bloop single to center that brought home Zack Rivera to make it a 4-2 game. It was Juan’s 22nd career RBI against the Woodchucks in 18 games played.  That would be all that Young would allow on the night. He finished five innings, allowing only those two runs (one earned) on six hits in his second start of the season.  The ‘Chucks would respond with a run of their own in the fifth. After a Matt Tellor lead-off single, he would score on a groundout by Rob Bennie to make the score 5-2, the Woodchucks lead.

The Woodchuck bullpen was also spectacular on the night. After Young’s exit, the pen threw four shutout innings, allowing only one base-runner. Ryan Zweck and Max Ising both provided one inning of scoreless relief with Austin Orewiler adding two as he picked up his first save of the season.

The ‘Chucks and Loggers will be back in action Saturday at the Lumberyard for a 6:05 game.