Offense Comes To Life In Lopsided Victory
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- After a tough eleven days, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (3-13) ended their 11 game losing streak in emphatic fashion by beating the Kalamazoo Growlers (6-10) by a 14-4 score. The Rafters got a tough, five inning performance out of starter Jason Freeman (Texas A&M) and the offense took over late. Freeman gutted out the five innings after he had not started a game in over a year as he had made 12 appearances this past year for the Aggies, but none of them starts.
The Rafters got the scoring going early by cobbling together 3 runs in the bottom of the first. Clark Eagan (Arkansas), Erik Payne (Viginia Tech), and William Elliott (Alabama) picked up the three RBIs. However, the Growlers would not go away. Ryan Spaulding (Ball State) roped a RBI double in the third to chip away before Kalamazoo tied it up in the fourth. A RBI single for Ryan Bull (Notre Dame) and a squeeze off the bat of Austin Cangelosi (Indiana) knotted things up as the Growlers were looking to win their first four all- time matchups vs. the Rafters.
Wisconsin Rapids’ bats would erupt in the 6th. The Rafters sent 11 men to the plate, scoring 7 runs and collecting 4 hits in the frame. Cullen Gassaway (Arkansas) broke the deadlock with a RBI single with the bases loaded, his first RBI of the season. Kalamazoo would score a run in the top of the 7th, but with the Rafters scoring two runs in each of the last two innings the outcome was never in doubt.
Clark Eagan continued his torrid start to his NWL campaign, as he is now 6-8 in his first two games as a Rafter. Eagan picked up two more RBIs Wednesday night and was a force in the middle of the order.
Wisonsin Rapids begins a two-game home and away set versus their regional rivals, the Madison Mallards, on Thursday night. First pitch will be at 7:05 pm live from historic Witter Field. Element Mobile will present the Russian Bar Trio for the evening entertainment.
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.