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Published On: July 31st, 2017
Rafters Win Series Opener over Growlers on Monday
Wisconsin Rapids moves to 6-1 against Kalamazoo in season series
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – In the final series of the year against the Growlers, Wisconsin Rapids (43-18, 16-9) defeated Kalamazoo (18-40, 9-15), 8-2 from Witter Field to open the two game set. Nick Anderson homered while Michael Ruffolo and Charlie McConnell each tallied two RBI’s for the Rafters. 
Kalamazoo scored first in the game, with one run coming across in the top half of the first. Connor Hollis singled and came in to score on a sacrifice ground out by Andrew Huff.
The Rafters answered the run to tie the game in the third on an RBI single back up the middle by Ryan Stekl with the bases loaded. Michael Ruffolo scored the run after tallying his first hit as a Rafter, but the third out of the inning came at home on an outfield assist to retire Charlie McConnell attempting to score from second.
Nick Anderson gave the Rafters their first lead in the game with a no-doubt home run to left field in the fifth inning. The two run shot scored Jared Nelson to put the Wisconsin Rapids up 3-1. Anderson’s fourth home run of the year against the Kalamazoo Growlers brings up his season total to seven.
A two-out rally scoring four runs extended the Wisconsin Rapids lead to 7-1 in the sixth. A pair of two RBI hits from Michael Ruffolo and Charlie McConnell scored the four Rafter runs in the inning. Ruffolo drilled a double just past the reach of the Growler third baseman, and McConnell singled to right on a sharp line drive.
Wisconsin Rapids added an insurance run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Dustin Woodcock. Woodcock’s sacrifice fly scored Bryson Stott and Woodcock tallied his 99th RBI in his Rafters career. 
The Growlers got one run back in the eighth, loading the bases for Jeff Reidel, who singled to left to plate Jason Sullivan. Tevita Gerber was able to work out of the jam with just the one run allowed, popping up the second and third outs of the inning to first base.
Grant Gunderson (1-1) and Tevita Gerber were the only two pitchers used for the Rafters, limiting the Growlers to two runs on seven hits. Gunderson earned the win, tossing the first five innings, and Tevita Gerber picked up his first save of the year finishing the last four innings of the game. Growler starter Zach Vitkuske went just two and a third innings before being taken out of the game due to injury, and the loss was tagged to Walter Talcott (0-4). 
Wisconsin Rapids and Kalamazoo match up for the final meeting this season tomorrow night from Witter Field, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Fans in attendance will receive a 2017 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Team Poster, sponsored by Luke A. Weiland. Coverage of Tuesday’s game begins at 6:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and, the Rafters Radio Network.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, 180 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.comor download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.