7 Run 8th Inning Dooms Wisconsin Rapids
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- Two teams desperate for a win slugged it out for five innings before the Kalamazoo Growlers (6-9) took control and came out with a 14-2 win over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (2-13). Both teams entered Tuesday’s game scuffling a bit and looking to get back in the win column.
The Rafters threatened early as they left the bases loaded in the bottom of the second. The missed opportunities ended up hurting Wisconsin Rapids as the Growlers edged ahead in the 4th after a Jalen Phillips (Duke) RBI double. Kalamazoo would go on to score at least one run in the games final six innings.
Both starting pitchers were excellent as Nick Blackburn (Illinois) and Kevin Haviland (Duke) went toe to toe. Overall, Blackburn was great as he gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in five innings of work. Blackburn began to run out of gas in the 6th as he allowed a leadoff homerun to Nick Yarnall (Pittsburgh) then walked the next batter. Haviland was making his first start of the season and showed that he deserved a permanent spot in the rotation. The southpaw went 7 innings, scattered 7 hits and allowed a single earned run.
The game was opened up in the top of the 8th when the Growlers sent 10 men to the plate and scored seven runs. Wisconsin Rapids’ defense did not help out the cause as they committed four errors on the evening.
These two same teams will finish up the two game series at 7:05 pm as it’s Fey Printing “Turn Back the Clock” night at Witter Field. The Rafters will be wearing Twins style, retro uniforms which will be auctioned off after Wednesday’s game.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.