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Rafters Come Alive Late in Win Over Kingfish

KENOSHA, Wis. –  The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have been like that gnat on the front porch at grandma’s house; they just don’t ever go away.  Despite being down by four runs in the sixth inning tonight, the Rafters pulled off a late game comeback to win 7-5 over the Kenosha Kingfish. 

Per usual, the Rafters started the scoring first on the road tonight in Kenosha.  Ben Ross homered in the first at-bat of the game to put the Rafters ahead, 1-0.  After Rafters starter Michael Lindsey threw a scoreless bottom half of the first, the Rafters were held scoreless in the second inning.  Lindsey gave up three Kingfish runs in the bottom of the second and was forced to exit after he threw more than 35 pitches in the inning.  Lindsey’s night finished after throwing two innings while giving up three hits on three runs, allowing two walks, and striking out three Kingfish.  

With a 3-1 deficit, the Rafters brought in the left-hander Ben Adams in the third.  Perhaps the unsung hero of the night, Adams threw three scoreless frames while allowing five hits, no walks, and punched out five.  Still without a Rafter run since the first inning, Malakai Vetock came in to pitch for Wisconsin Rapids in the sixth.  He gave up two more Kenosha runs to put the Kingfish to 5-1. 

The Rats bats always find a way to wake up.  However, in the top of the seventh, it was keeping the bat asleep that made the game close.  After three straight walks to start the inning, Ben Ross was hit by a pitch that brought home the Rafters second run of the game to make the score 5-2.  Harry Owen scored via a wild pitch to make it a two-run game.  Then, Jacob Igawa came in off the bench as a pinch hitter and got an RBI single which made it a one-run game, 5-4.  Aidan Brewer came in to run at first for Igawa and with Ben Ross at third, the Rafters pulled out the first and third play.  Brewer stole second and Ross stole home to tie the game up at 5-5.  

Vetock threw a scoreless bottom half of the seventh.  In the top of the eighth, the Rafters added two more from a Harry Owen RBI double and a Chris Conniff RBI single to put the Rafters up 7-5.  Tanner Chafin got the hold in the eighth for the Rafters.  Then, Preston Howey got his Northwoods League leading seventh save after striking out the side in order to end the game.  Vetock picked up the win for the Rafters.  Chris Conniff was the only Rafter with a multi-hit game, as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI. 

The Rafters (24-4) play in Kenosha again tomorrow night against the Kingfish (14-15) at 6:35 pm.  Tune in on WFHR 1320 AM/97.5 FM with Brett Loftis at 6:20 pm. 

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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’ 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.