FOND DU LAC, WI – The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (25-22, 6-8) look to split the series with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (40-9, 11-3) at Herr-Baker Field on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. The Rafters took game one of the series last night in extra innings, 6-5. Tonight is Wizardry Night at the ballpark, with fireworks presented by Fox Communities Credit Union after the game. Coverage of tonight’s game begins at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+.
WHY DO WE LIKE HIM? HE GETS ON BASE: With two walks during Thursday night’s game, OF Nick Mitchell extended his on-base streak to 22 consecutive games, the longest by any Dock Spider this year. The last time Mitchell failed to reach base in a game was June 21 at the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, 31 days ago. Over that span, Mitchell is hitting .383 (36-94) and has an eye-popping .477 on-base percentage. In his 111 plate appearances over that span, Mitchell has walked (15) more times than he has struck out (12).
COMIA’S GOING CRAZY: INF Branden Comia tallied two more RBI on Thursday night with a single, driving in his seventh and eighth runs of the past three games. In the last three games, Comia is 6-14 at the plate with three doubles, a home run, and eight RBI. Before the span, Comia had driven in three runs in his first nine games with the Dock Spiders.
SAY HELLO TO THE HOME RUN TALLY: With a solo shot on Thursday night, OF Kemp Alderman tallied his first career home run as a Dock Spider. Alderman’s home run measured at 101 MPH off the bat and traveled 361 feet. The 101 MPH home run was the hardest home run by a Dock Spiders hitter this year, beating the previous high of 99 MPH from C Cole Messina.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN EXTRAS: Thursday night marked the second straight extra-inning game for the Dock Spiders and their fourth of the year. A 6-5 loss in 10 innings dropped their record 2-2 on the year in extra frames. The game continued a season-long streak of only one team scoring in extra innings. The Dock Spiders have played two 10-inning games, one 11-inning game and one that went into the 12th, at Lakeshore on June 10.
MAGEE’s MAGIC: When INF Brendan Bobo lined a single to right-center during Thursday’s game off RHP Noah Magee, it marked the first hit allowed by Magee in nine innings of work this year. Magee has been one of the best relievers in the Northwoods League, with 14 strikeouts over his first 9.1 innings. He also features the highest spin curveball in the NWL, at an average of 3035 RPM, more than 200 RPM higher than the next closest pitcher. The average MLB curveball features a spin rate of 2500-2600 RPM.
AFTER TODAY: The Dock Spiders continue their five-game home stand with a two-game series against the Wausau Woodchucks. The Rafters will travel home on Saturday to take on the Madison Mallards at Witter Field.
TODAY’S STARTING PITCHING MATCH-UP
RHP DAVID HAGAMAN (FDL) is set to make his fifth consecutive home start. Last time out, he set a career-high with 84 pitches over 3.1 innings against the Lakeshore Chinooks. In his last start against the Rafters, Hagaman allowed a season-high five earned runs in 2.2 innings.
RHP GRANT MANNING (WIR) will start for the Rafters after he started the 2022 All-Star Game on Wednesday at Witter Field. Manning has allowed two runs over his last 12 innings on the mound (1.50 ERA), and features a 1.86 ERA in 2022.