Rafters Reel In 13th Straight Victory Over Kingfish
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – More times than not, as the old saying goes, “History repeats itself.” The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters continue their historic start to the 2022 season, as they win their 13th game in a row by a score of 6-5 over the Kenosha Kingfish.
The scoring was started tonight by the Kingfish in the top of the first, as Kevin Bushnell had an RBI groundout which gave Kenosha their first lead of the series, 1-0. However, the Rats bats, as they have done all season, came out swinging in the bottom of the first. Wisconsin Rapids first baseman, Brendan Bobo, hit a mammoth homer over the right-field fence to tie up the ballgame at 1-1. Bobo’s fifth homer of the year put him in a first-place tie in the Northwoods League, along with teammate Ben Ross and Willmar’s Elias Stevens.
The Rafters starting pitcher, Cam Nolet, threw two more scoreless frames in the top of the second and third innings. His night finished with three innings of giving up two hits, one run, no walks, and two strikeouts. Wisconsin Rapids took their first lead of the night after catcher Levi Jensen scored on a wild pitch that put the Rafters up 2-1.
Jake Dahle came in to pitch for the Rafters in the fourth, as he hung up a zero for Kenosha. The Rats bats brought two more across in the home half, as Levi Jensen had an RBI single. Then, three pitches later, Jensen swiped second which allowed newcomer Colin Tuft to steal home, which then put the Rafters up 4-1. However, Kenosha got one back in the top half of the fifth after a Dahle balk which made the score 4-2. Wisconsin Rapids got the run right back in the home half via a wild pitch which allowed Ben Ross to give the Rafters their three-run lead back, 5-2.
However, the Kingfish tied the ballgame back up in the top of the sixth in large part due to timely hitting and a couple of errors made by the Rafters. An E6 allowed the bases to be loaded with one out, and catcher Gage Williams lined a single into center field which plated two Kingfish to bring Kenosha within one, 5-4. The bases-loaded up again with two outs and an E5 allowed another run to score, which tied the game back up, 5-5. Dahle was able to finish off his night with a strikeout, stranding the bases loaded. He finished with five punchouts on the night.
Rafters reliever Ben Adams came in the game in the top of the seventh, as he retired Kenosha 1-2-3. The game-winning run came in the top of the seventh, as Brady Jurgella reached via a leadoff single, and then made two great reads on wild pitches to advance to third. Then, as he has done all year, the Rafters superstar shortstop, Ben Ross, came up clutch with a sacrifice fly and an RBI to give the Rats a 6-5 lead. Jacob James threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Rafters. Then, Wisconsin Rapids closer, Preston Howey, got his fifth save of the season on 14 pitches as he struck out two of the four batters he faced. Ben Adams would get the win for the Rafters.
The Rafters will look to tie the franchise-record 14-game winning streak tomorrow in Fond Du Lac against the Dock Spiders at 6:35 pm. Tune in on WFHR 1320 AM/97.5 FM at 6:20 pm to hear all the action with the Rafters radio broadcaster, Brett Loftis.
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’ 28th 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 280 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 (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com. 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.