Green Bay, Wis. – It’s opening week in Wisconsin in the Northwoods League presented by Edvest and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters opened the 2016 season by paying a visit to the Green Bay Bullfrogs on Tuesday night. The result was not as desired for the visitors after a well-played game that saw the Rafters (0-1) fall by a tally of 3-2 to the home Bullfrogs (1-0) in front of a rain-soaked Joannes Stadium crowd.
Dustin Woodcock opened the scoring in the top of the first inning by shooting a line drive single through the left side of the infield to score Logan Mattix from third base. Their early 1-0 advantage would last mere minutes as the Bullfrogs responded in the bottom of the first with RBI infield single from Hunter Owens that scored center fielder Chris Botsoe.
The subsequent three innings would be dominated by the pitchers as blanks littered the scoreboard, keeping things tied at one. In the fifth inning, Nolan Kraemer was able to get aboard on a high chopper to third that eventually landed him on third base after a wild throw from Bullfrogs’ third baseman Ray Greco. One batter later, Kraemer advanced to third on a grounder by Brandon Polizzi and then came across to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from Mike Ellenbeck to put Rapids up 2-1.
The Rafters’ 2-1 advantage would hold steady only until the bottom of the sixth inning when Green Bay short stop Randell Kanemaru slapped an RBI single to right field to score Marcus Shoemaker from second and tie the game.
With starter Jay Peters out of the ballgame after six stellar innings of two-run work, the Bullfrogs succeeded in manufacturing the decisive run in the bottom of the eighth off of left-handed reliever Cal Giese from St. Cloud State. Following a Chris Botsoe lead-off walk, the speedy second baseman would advance to third base after a sacrifice bunt from second baseman Marcus Shoemaker and a Giese wild pitch. Gives was able to get ahead of Hunter Owen, but the Green Bay right fielder succeeded in bringing home Botsoe with his second RBI single of the game, putting the Bullfrogs ahead for good.
Harrisen Eggly rounded out the evening on the mound for Green Bay by working around a lead-off single by catcher Rob Calabrese and a wild pitch to close the door in the ninth inning and send their supporters home happy.
In the losing effort, center fielder Logan Mattix finished 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base, and a run scored, while short stop Nolan Kraemer managed a pair of a hits and a run scored. When the lights went out at Joannes Stadium, Cal Giese was saddled with the loss despite racking up four strikeouts in two innings of relief. Starter Jay Peters, who allowed two runs on six hits without a walk in six innings did not factor into the decision.
The Rafters will get back to action tomorrow night at Witter Field looking to salvage a split in their season-opening series against Green Bay. First pitch is at 7:05 pm and pre-game will be accompanied by live music, face painting, and a fantastic entrance by mascot Rosco P. Rafter.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016, 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, 150 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.
Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 to start an Edvest college savings plan, and account owners can choose from more than 22 investment portfolios while enjoying one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the U.S. along with in-state tax advantages for Wisconsin residents. SavingforCollege.com recently ranked Edvest as one of the Top 15 in 529 Performance, the ninth Lowest Cost 529 plans, as well as awarded the program a 5-Cap Rating, which indicates that a 529 plan offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits. Find out more at www.edvest.com