FOND DU LAC, WI – Andrew Semo (San Diego) drove in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the tenth inning to give the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters a series-opening, 7-6, win over the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders on Monday night at Witter Field.
The loss was the third in a row for the Dock Spiders, who fell into third place overall in the Great Lakes West Division at 34-32, a game back of the Wausau Woodchucks for the final playoff spot in the division. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters won their Northwoods League record 53rd game of the year and broke the previous record of 52, set by the Rafters in 2017.
The Dock Spiders got the scoring started in the first when Parker Noland (Vanderbilt) drove in Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) to give Fond du Lac a 1-0 lead. The Rafters, however, took a 3-2 lead in the second off an error, passed ball, and a sacrifice fly from Chris Coniff (Wagner).
In the third, Alderman tied the game on a double to the wall in left and Noland drove in another the next batter for the lead. Daylen Reyes (UCLA) then drove in Alderman with a sacrifice fly to center, and Bennett Thompson (Oregon) brought home Noland with another sacrifice fly, this time to left to make it 5-3. The Rafters would respond with a run in the bottom half, but Andrew Sojka (CSUN) smashed a home run off the light pole in right-center to extend the lead back to 6-4. Sojka’s home run was his sixth of the year, tied for the fifth-most in a single season in franchise history (since 2017).
Dock Spiders starter Connor McKenna (Illinois-Springfield) would last through the fifth inning, throwing 95 pitches, the most in a start by a Dock Spiders starter this year. After he departed, the Rafters would start the comeback with a run in the sixth, then another in the seventh to tie it at six on an RBI single from Colin Tuft (Virginia).
Trey Seeley (Cypress) come on in the eighth and dominated, retiring six straight to send the game to extra innings, and was helped out by Sojka, who make a diving catch in the ninth.
In the tenth, the Dock Spiders failed to score a run, as Preston Howey (Saint Mary’s) retired the side in order. In the bottom half, the placed runner would reach third on a wild pitch before a sacrifice fly to left scored Levi Jensen (North Alabama) for the win. Seeley (0-3) took the loss while Howey (4-2) earned the win.
The two teams are set to meet for the series finale tomorrow night in Wisconsin Rapids. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.