Rafters Drown Mallards in Madison
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have had a historic start to the 2022 season. That continued to last night, as the Rafters drowned the Mallards tonight in Madison by a score of 12-4.
The key to Rafter wins this season has been to jump on the opposing team early and often. The Rafters strategy did not change tonight, as they hung three runs on the Mallards in the top of the first. Rafters shortstop continued his miraculous season, as he hit a two-run bomb in the second at-bat of the game to give the Rafters a 2-0 lead. Ross’s homer was his sixth of the season, which tied him with teammate Brendan Bobo for the most homers in the Northwoods League. Garrett Broussard joined the home run party, as he left the yard with a solo shot, his second of the year, to make a 3-0 lead.
Rafters starter Michael Lindsey threw a scoreless bottom of the first, and then the Rats bats got back to it. Ben Ross added another RBI with a single that drove in Chase Call to make a 4-0 Wisconsin Rapids lead. Jacob Igawa added an RBI single to give the Rats a 5-0 lead in the top of the second. After another scoreless bottom half of the second from the Mallards, the Rafters got right back to their scoring ways in the top of the third. Chris Conniff hit an RBI single, and Brendan Bobo drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Rafters a commanding 7-0 lead in the third inning.
The Mallards were able to cut into the Rats lead in the bottom of the third via a three-run homer from first baseman, Christian Rivera, to make it a 7-3 ballgame. Michael Lindsey exited the game after the third after giving up three runs on five hits while allowing three walks and striking out four Mallards. Caden Favors came in the ballgame in the fourth to toss a scoreless fourth. He gave up the Mallards fourth and final run in the fifth off of a Noah Smith RBI single to cut the Rafters lead down to three, 7-4.
Caden Favors left the game after the sixth as he threw three innings while earning the win. He gave up one run on three hits while allowing one walk and striking out three. The Rafters scored two more on the board in the seventh from Brady Jurgella scoring on a wild pitch and an E5 made by the Mallards to give the Rafters a 9-4 lead. Connor Kurki held the Mallards scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, throwing a 1-2-3 inning Ben Ross added to his already outstanding night with an RBI single in the eighth to put the Rafters ahead 10-4. Cal State Fullerton product, Josh Howitt, threw a scoreless eighth while stranding two Mallards. The final two Rafter runs came in the top of the ninth from a Harry Owen RBI single and Levi Jensen scored on a wild pitch to give the Rats a 12-4 lead. Malakai Vetock recorded the final three outs on the mound for the Rafters. Rafters center fielder, Brady Jurgella, went 2-for-4 while reaching base in five of his possible seven plate appearances. Ben Ross had a perfect night, going 3-for-3 with a homer, four RBI, and drew three walks in six plate appearances.
The Rafters (16-2) will host the Mallards (9-10) tomorrow night at Witter Field at 6:35 pm. Catch all the action with Carter Gledhill on the Northwoods Baseball Network and with Brett Loftis on WFHR 1320 AM/97.5 FM.
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.