Rafters Fall To ‘Chucks
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.-It was a tight, close game between regional rivals as the Wisconsin Woodchucks (30-23, 12-7) took down the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (19-31, 7-9) by a score of 5-4.
The Woodchucks jumped out to an early lead right off the bat in the top of the 1st. Slugging first baseman Brendon Hayden (Virginia Tech) launched a two run home run off of the scoreboard in right- center to put Wisconsin quickly in front.
Wisconsin Rapids responded two innings later as Clark Eagan (Arkansas) singled home Zack Domingues (Long Beach State) to halve the ‘Chucks lead. After giving up the home run in the 1st, Rafters’ starter Zach Jackson (Arkansas) settled into a nice groove. The right- hander struggled with his control early, as his final line featured three walks and three wild pitches, but as the game went on the Oklahoman got stronger. Jackson finished with 10 strikeouts in his 6 innings as the four hits he gave up came in pairs in the 1st and the 4th.
The Rafters eventually tied up the game in the 7th when Zack Domingues led off the inning with a single and would eventually score the tying run off of a wild pitch thrown by Austin Tribby (Missouri). Wisconsin would not be phased as they came back with three runs of their own in the top of the 8th highlighted by a two RBI single from shortstop Ryan Howard (Missouri).
Wisconsin Rapids would make things interesting with two runs scored in the bottom of the 9th but it would not be enough as the 10 runners left on base throughout the game would haunt the Rafters in a one run loss. The two teams will meet up for the final time this season tomorrow night with the scene shifting to Athletic Park in Wausau. First pitch is at 5:05 pm.
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.