Rafters Fall Short Of 50 Wins In Loss To Bombers
End of regular season begins Rafters’ quest for championship
Battle Creek, Mich. – In their final game of the regular season, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (49-23, 25-11) fell to the Battle Creek Bombers (39-33, 21-15) by a final score of 10-3. With the loss, the Rafters fell just short of joining the exclusive 50-win club and settled for the best record in the Northwoods League entering the 2016 playoffs.
The first inning offered the illusion that the Rafters might be destined for their fiftieth win of the summer, following a two-run rally that staked them to an early 2-0 lead. In the inning, a single by Richie Palacios (Towson), followed by a walk by Jake Lumley (Canisius), and finally a single by Rob Calabrese (Illinois-Chicago) loaded the bases with no men out. Joe Wainhouse (Washington) picked up an RBI on a groundout and Ben Fisher (Eastern Kentucky) extended the lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Unfortunately for the Rafters, the scoring would largely dry up after the first inning, as Battle Creek reeled off seven consecutive runs before Wainhouse doubled home a run in the top of the eighth inning for his second RBI of the night. A three-run bottom of the eighth for the Bombers extended the margin to 10-3 and the Rafters fell short of tying the game in the bottom of the ninth inning.
In the loss, starting pitcher Cal Giese (St. Cloud State) absorbed his third loss of the season after pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and three walks, while striking out four. In relief, right-hander Reggie Johnson (Alcorn State) pitched the final 3 2/3 innings of the game, surrendering five runs (all earned) on four hits and eight walks, striking out two.
The Rafters have the honor of hosting their first Northwoods League playoff game on Monday night, as they begin their postseason chase for the first Summer Collegiate World Series Championship in franchise history. First pitch at Witter Field against the Lakeshore Chinooks is set for 7:05 PM with gates opening to the general public at 6:05 PM.
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, 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 150 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 portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Rafters as your favorite team.