Andy Garriola’s ninth inning grand slam vaults Rafters to Saturday night win.
Wausau, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters hit a season-high four home runs and came back from three runs down in a thrilling 10-7 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks on Saturday night.
The Rafters shot out to an early 3-0 lead. Hank Zeisler singled to left field and Parker Nolan walked in the second, setting up an RBI opportunity for Angelo D’Acunto. The Rafters catcher got a hold of a 3-1 fastball, slamming a three-run homer over the center field wall.
After falling behind by three entering the eighth inning, Andy Garriola led off the inning with the Rafters second home run of the night, a solo home run to center. Garriola’s home run was his second of the season and cut the Woodchucks lead to two.
In the ninth, the Rafters set themselves up well once again. Jason DiCochea was hit by a pitch, Ryan Walstad singled to short left field and Zeisler was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Andy Garriola. Garriola smashed a first-pitch curveball out of the park for a grand slam, his second home run of the night, and the second grand slam for a Rafter this season.
The next batter was Austin Kryszczuk, and he echoed Garriola with a home run of his own to left field. Kryszczuk’s home run was his first in a Rafters uniform and the fourth of the night for Wisconsin Rapids, a season high.
Rudolph, WI native Donovan Brandl worked a scoreless eighth inning and received the win. Brayden Bonner struck out two in a scoreless ninth and recorded his pod-best fifth save of the year, his sixteenth save of his Rafters career.
The Rafters improved to 25-10 with the win, best in the Wisconsin-Illinois Pod by two games. Wisconsin Rapids hosts the Woodchucks tomorrow in game two of the series. Coverage of the Wisconsin Woodchucks and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters begins at 12:50pm on AM 1320 WFHR and at 1:00pm on the Northwoods League Baseball Network.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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 or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.