Comeback From Deficit, But Give Up Lead Late
Madison, Wis.- It was like déjà vu at Warnerark as the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (17-29, 5-6) made a comeback, squandered opportunities and gave up the lead in the bottom of the 7th as they lost Sunday to the Madison Mallards (26-20, 8-5) by a score of 4-3. The two teams finished up their season series with identical records of 4-4.
Madison had the leadoff batter in an inning reach base only three times on Sunday, but two of the three instances runs were scored. That is what occurred in the bottom of the 2nd when the Mallards scored three runs off starter Zack Jackson (Arkansas). Only one of the runs was earned as the Rafters had some sloppy defense behind Jackson in the half inning.
Much like the previous night the Rafters would make a comeback. Wisconsin Rapids would respond with three of their own in the top of the 4th. The Rafters had a chance to take the lead in the inning as they had the bases loaded with one out but reliever Charlie Naso (Illinois) escaped the jam. Madison had to use seven different pitchers on the afternoon after starter Kirby Snead (Florida) had to be removed with an apparent shoulder injury.
Sunday’s script continued to mirror that of Saturday’s as Wisconsin Rapids would strand runners in scoring position in the 5th and 6th innings, and much like Saturday the Mallards made the Rafters pay in the bottom of the 7th. Robbie Tenerowicz’s (California) sacrifice fly would put Madison up 4-3 and set the stage for Madison’s vaunted bullpen.
Madison brought in all-star closer Tim Black (Central Michigan) to close things out in the top of the 9th but the reliever ran into some trouble. With Kirby McGuire (New Mexico) on third, Keelin Rasch (Louisiana Monroe) hit a dribbler up the first base line that forced first baseman Joe Dudek (North Carolina) to sprint into action. Dudek would throw to the plate to catch McGuire and the Rafters’ rally was snuffed out.
Wisconsin Rapids will enjoy it’s off day tomorrow before traveling to Mequon to take on the Lakeshore Chinooks on Tuesday. First pitch is at 6:35.
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.