Rafters Roll Rivets for Fifth Straight Win
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, much like this wave of Central Wisconsin heat, are warming right back up. The Rafters continued their historic start tonight, moving to 19-2, as they swept the Rockford Rivets tonight, 3-2.
Unlike many of the Rafters’ 19 wins this season, they did not strike first. Rafters starter, Dalton Renne, pitched himself into a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top of the first. Matthew Mebane hit a sacrifice fly, which drove in the first run of the night, and the Rivets took a 1-0 lead. However, with runners on the corners and only one away, Rafters catcher, Levi Jensen, threw out his first of four Rivets on the basepaths to get out number two. With a runner on third and now two outs, Renne retired Rivets designated hitter, Dylan Robertson, for out number three. Even though this was just the first inning, this proved to be a pivotal moment in the game.
Renne threw scoreless frames in the second and third innings, as he finished his night after three innings allowing three hits on one run while striking out three Rivets. The Rats bats came alive in the bottom of the third, as Brady Jurgella hit an RBI single, and Brendan Bobo hit an RBI sacrifice fly to put the Rafters ahead for their first time tonight, 2-1.
Jacob James came in the game in the top of the fourth for the Rafters, and he continued his dominant season out of the bullpen. He threw a scoreless top half of the fourth, and the Rafters scored their final and third run of the night in the bottom of the fourth inning via Colin Tuft scoring off a wild pitch. James threw another scoreless fifth and was then replaced by Nick Torres with two outs in the sixth. James finished his night after 2.2 scoreless innings pitched, while giving up only one hit, two walks, and struck out three Rivets. James would earn the win.
Nick Torres got the final out of the sixth, threw a scoreless seventh, and a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning. After a scoreless 2.1 innings pitched, Torres exited after giving up two hits, no walks, and one strikeout. On his 20th birthday, Preston Howey came into the game to close the door in the ninth. After a leadoff double, Howey recorded back-to-back outs. With two outs, Brody Harding hit an RBI single to score the Rivets first run since the first and bring the score to 3-2. Howey then came back strong, as he struck out Rockford’s Drew Baker for out number three. Preston Howey received save number six of the year and extended the Rafters Northwoods League Lead in saves to nine.
The Rafters (19-2) play host to the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders (11-9) tomorrow night at Witter Field at 6:35 pm. Catch all the action with Carter Gledhill on the Northwoods League Baseball Network or on WFHR 1320 AM/97.5 FM with 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.