WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – Sometimes when something gets started, it just cannot be stopped. There is no explanation, no reason, or even a way to prove it, but it just cannot be stopped. Well tonight, that was the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters offense, as they steamrolled the Lakeshore Chinooks 15-1 on the way to their 27th win of 2022.
After Rafters starter Grant Manning threw a scoreless top half of the first, the scoring started early for the Rats. Chris Conniff and Brendan Bobo reached base via a pair of one-out singles. Then, Conniff and Bobo both scored from first and second on a wild pitch to make it a 2-0 game. After another pair of scoreless innings from Manning, he exited the game after the third. He added three strikeouts to his performance during his scoreless three innings.
The Rafters brought one more across in the third via a Jacob Igawa RBI groundout which brought home Aidan Brewer to make it a 3-0 lead. Nathan Hemmerling threw a scoreless top half of the fourth and then the Rats bats started to rock the Witter. After a Ben Ross bases loaded walk to make it a 4-0 game, Brendan Bobo came up two batters with the bases still loaded. Bobo unloaded on a 3-1 fastball to hit the first Rafters grand slam at Witter Field this season to make it an 8-0 game.
Hemmerling threw another scoreless top half of the fifth, then the Rafters added one more in the bottom half via another Ben Ross bases loaded to make a 9-0 game. Matthew Deprey hit a leadoff solo homer in the top of the sixth to bring across the only run of the game for the Chinooks. However, the Rafters continued to pour it on in the bottom half of the sixth. After Bobo and Chase Call were hit by a pitch, Harry Owen uncorked a three-run homer to dead center field to put the Rafters up, 12-1. Ben Ross drew his third bases loaded walk of the night to make it 13-1. Then, Chris Conniff hit into a fielder’s choice which brought home two more runs to make 15-1 Rafters. Colin Kiernan, Malakai Vetock, and Alec Burnett each threw a scoreless frame in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Nathan Hemmerling received his second win of 2022. Chris Conniff, Brendan Bobo, and Harry Owen all had multi-hit nights, with Conniff leading the way with three. Bobo, Ross, Owen, and Conniff all had multi-RBI games tonight as well.
The Rafters (27-5) will play host to the Lakeshore Chinooks (16-17) again tomorrow night at Witter Field at 6:35 pm. Catch all the action on the Northwoods League Baseball Network with Carter Gledhill and on 1320 AM/97.5 FM WFHR 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.