Rafters Comeback Falls Short, in First Game against the Dock Spiders

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (4-5) allow five runs in the first two innings, and the comeback fell short as they lose 6-3 to the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders (6-3), in the first of a two-game set.

The Rafters starter was once again an opener today in Jacob Mrosko (Purdue). Mrosko allowed the first three batters to reach, via a bunt single, hit by pitch, and walk. Leadoff hitter Chandler Simpson stole second and advanced home on a wild pitch. The cleanup hitter in Connor Manthey knocked home two with a double.

The second inning saw Leon Finney (East Stroudsburg State), take the mound. He struggled as well walking four batters, including the first two batters on nine pitches. Tavian Josenberger hit an RBI single, and another wild pitch scored Aaron Chapman.

In the bottom of the second, Angelo D’Acunto (College of Holy Cross) blasted a ball to deep left but was robbed by Andrew Kim. The Rafters cut into the 5-0 deficit in the home half of the third, as Hank Zeisler (Chapman) brought home Blake Mann (St. Mary’s) on a sacrifice fly.

From the fourth to the sixth inning, Wisconsin Rapids left four runners on base and scored no runs.

Nathan Hemmerling (Lakeland), the third Rafters reliever, held the Dock Spiders’ run total at five, from entering with 2 outs in the second to the eighth.

The Rafters’ offense got on the board in the seventh inning. After a walk of Josh Nicoloff (Kansas St.) and Zeisler, pinch hitter Ben Swords roped a ball to left field to score Nicoloff. Zeisler, who moved to third after an infield single by EJ Exposito (Long Island) advanced home on a wild pitch.

Swords moved to third on that pitch, and after another wild pitch, this time from Ryan Kutt, he charged home but was tagged out Ben Gallaher tossed it to Kutt.

In the top of the ninth, Hemmerling was finally tacked for a run, after an RBI single from Ryan Lasko.

Wisconsin Rapids had 3-4-5 due up in the ninth, it started with two walks for Zeisler and Swords. It ended with a lineout to the shortstop from Exposito, a strikeout of Weston Eberly (Columbia), and miscommunication on the base pads which saw Swords attempt to steal second and Zeisler moving off third delayed and eventually tagged out.

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will play the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders tomorrow at Herr-Baker Field at 6:35 PM. The game can be heard on WFHR AM 1320.