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Rafters Lose After Comback

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Second Consecutive Walk Off Loss

Box Score

La Crosse, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (9-21) still do not have a victory against the La Crosse Loggers (20-10) but it is not because of lack of effort. The Rafters dropped their second game in walk- off fashion as the Loggers won 5-4.

Wisconsin Rapids grabbed the lead early in the top of the 2nd. With runners on second and third with nobody out, Keelin Rasch (Louisana Monroe) and Campbell Wear (UC Santa Barbara) hit consecutive RBI groundouts to shortstop. However, with the Loggers in the hunt for the first half South Division title there was no doubt that they would not go silently.

La Crosse’s comeback started in the bottom of the 4th when after Rafters starter Domenic Mazza (UC Santa Barbara) got the first two batters of the inning, four straight Loggers reached base with the last three reaching base via the walk. Apart from the 4th, Mazza had a strong debut for the Rafters as he went 5 innings allowing just 3 hits and the one earned run while striking out 6.

Mazza’s opposite number, Ty Provencher (Long Beach State), was solid all evening. After allowing the two early runs, Provencher would settle down and last 7 innings while allowing just the two runs. La Crosse would take the lead in the bottom of the 6th. With two outs, a Rasch error allowed Mitch Bevacqua (Washington) to come to the plate. Bevacqua did not waste his opportunity as he singled to bring home two runs. La Crosse would tack on an insurance run the next inning to make it 4-2.

The Rafters would claw back and trail by one heading into the top of the 9th. Erik Payne (Virginia Tech) would lead off the inning with a double. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Payne would score on Rasch’s RBI single pulled through a drawn in infield. Wisconsin Rapids had a chance to take the lead in the top of the 9th but with the bases loaded Michael Jurgella (St. Cloud State) flew out to center to end the inning.

La Crosse would take the momentum and run with it in the bottom of the frame. Mike Nadratowski (Grand Valley State) picked up his third hit of the night and his second RBI of the game when he hit a walk-off single to end things at Copeland Park. The Rafters and Loggers play tomorrow at 7:05 pm CST to finish off their season series.

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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.

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