Rats Drop Pitcher’s Duel 2-0
Mazza And Garcia Excellent
Kenosha, Wis.-The hype around Thursday’s game was centered around the potential pitcher’s duel between the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters’ (20-33, 8-10) Domenic Mazza (UC Santa Barbara) and the Kenosha Kingfish’s (29-25, 13-8) Rico Garcia (Hawaii Pacific) and the two starters held up their end of the bargain. It was a tight, well pitched affair as the Kingfish took the game by a 2-0 final score.
Garcia pitched in and out of trouble but the righty made his biggest pitches when it mattered most as he went six innings while striking out five, walking nobody and scattering 5 hits. The key inning for Garcia came in the top of the 5th when the Rafters were able to advance runners to second and third with one out with the three and cleanup hitters coming up. Garcia was able to induce two groundouts from two of the Rafters’ better hitters and get out of the jam.
Kenosha came right back and responded in the bottom half of the frame. After Mazza cruised through the first two hitters of the 5th, he jumped ahead 0-2 on catcher CJ Saylor (San Diego State). Saylor would then battle back to a full count and pick up a two out single. That would be the first of three straight singles for Kenosha which, combined with a RBI fielder’s choice, would result in the only two runs of the game. Mazza still turned in his second consecutive excellent start as he went 7 innings while giving up the two runs while striking out five.
The Kingfish bullpen would lock down the final three innings and secure the victory for the Kingfish, who took the season series over Wisconsin Rapids with a game to play Friday. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 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.