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Rafters Walk-Off Winners in Final Game of Regular Season

Wisconsin Rapids wins 9-8 on a walk-off walk by Hank Zeisler.

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (35-11) went back and forth with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (31-16) in the final game of the regular season on Thursday. The battle between the top two teams in the Wisconsin-Illinois Pod ended with Wisconsin Rapids extending their winning streak to five with a narrow 9-8 win in eleven innings.

Wisconsin Rapids struck for runs in each of the first seven innings, to keep the offense hot after Wednesday’s 11-2 win. Andy Garriola drove in a run in the first on a fielder’s choice. In the second, the Rafters went up 2-0 on an error by Fond du Lac. In the third, Jacob Hinderleider singled in a run. The fourth inning saw Wisconsin Rapids scoring on an Andy Garriola single. In the fifth, the Rafters kept chipping away with another run. After the Rafters brought one more home in the sixth, Andy Garriola once again provided a spark. Garriola slammed a two-run home run over the left-field fence to tie the game at eight.

With the game tied at eight, pitchers began to duel. Billy Black pitched from the seventh to the eleventh, allowing no hits and striking out four in his best outing of the season. The Rafters were held scoreless from the eighth until the eleventh. In the second extra inning, the Rafters loaded the bases. Hank Zeisler took four straight balls from Jared Jones and walked the game off.

The Rafters improved the 35-11, the best record in Rafters history by winning percentage. Wisconsin-Illinois Pod playoffs begin tomorrow at Witter Field. The Rafters face off against the La Crosse Loggers. First pitch between the Rafters and the Loggers is at 6:35pm. Coverage begins at 6:20pm on AM 1320 WFHR and on the Northwoods League Baseball Network at 6:30pm.

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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.