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Rafters, Dock Spiders Meet for Series at Herr-Baker Field

FOND DU LAC, WI – The Fond du lac Dock Spiders (8-6) meet the surging Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (13-1) at Herr-Baker Field for the opener of a two-game series tonight at 6:35 p.m. The Dock Spiders trail the Rafters by five games in the Great Lakes West Division, and are tied for second with the Madison Mallards. Tonight’s game can be streamed live on the ESPN+, with coverage starting at 6:30 p.m.

TODAY’S STORYLINES

AGAINST THE TOP: The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders welcome in the division-leading Wisconsin Rapids Rafters to Herr-Baker Field for a two-game set. The Rafters lead the division by five games thanks to a 13 game winning streak after they dropped their opening game of the year to the Green Bay Rockers. Since then, the Rafters have outscored opponents 88-49, a +39 run differential. Eleven of their 13 games over the win streak have been decided by three runs or less. A win today would tie the longest win streak for the Rafters in franchise history. The Dock Spiders, meanwhile, come into today’s game trying to snap a four game losing streak. After a 7-1 start to the year, the Dock Spiders have lost five of their last six, with four of the five losses by three runs or less.  

ANOTHER CLOSE ONE: The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders brought the tying run to the plate twice in the ninth inning, but failed to come back in a 9-6 loss to the Wausau Woodchucks on Monday night at home. The loss was the fourth straight for the Dock Spiders. The Dock Spiders tallied three in the eighth and one in the ninth, but four runs over the final three innings from the Woodchucks staved off a comeback attempt. The loss drops the Dock Spiders into a tie for second place in the Great Lakes West Division with the Madison Mallards.

TALK ABOUT A BIG START: South Carolina product Evan Stone became the third Dock Spider this year to tally a four hit game with four singles during Monday night’s game. It helped raise Stone’s average to .426 on the year, third-best in the Northwoods League. Over his last three games, Stone has gone 6-12 at the plate with a triple and four RBI. Of the 12 games that Stone’s recorded a plate appearance, he’s tallied a hit in 11 of them, and has reached base in all 12. Rafters infielder Ben Ross leads the Northwoods League with a .462 average.

SWIPING BAGS: The Dock Spiders tallied two stolen bases during Monday night’s game, the first time that they’ve swiped two in a game since last Thursday’s game in Appleton against the Green Bay Rockers. The Dock Spiders have stolen 31 bases this year, fourth-best in the Northwoods League, and the most out of any team in the Great Lakes West Division.

DOUBLES MACHINE: On Monday night, Kyte McDonald became the first Dock Spider to tally multiple extra-base hits in a game after his two-double performance. McDonald tallied an RBI double to left in the fifth, then tallied a double to right-center in the eighth. McDonald’s three doubles are tied with Cole Messina for the team lead. The Dock Spiders 15 doubles on the year are tied for 12th in the Northwoods League.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHING MATCH-UP

RHP ANDREW POGUE (FDL): The righty makes his first start against a team not named the Green Bay Rockers after he faced the team in each of his first two starts. Pogue was chased in the third inning of his last start, but allowed just two runs in 4.2 innings during his first start of the year at home.

RHP COLLIN KIERNAN (WIR): Kiernan is set to make his third start of the year after he allowed a run in four innings at Wausau on June 9. He’s allowed just five hits this summer, with opponents batting .156 against him.