Rafters Ride Ross to 5-2 Win in Rockford
ROCKFORD, IL – Sometimes at night, there will be a shooting star that shoots across the sky. For just a second or two, it can be seen jetting off the horizon. Well, on a day when the 2022 Northwoods League All-Stars were announced, perhaps the brightest star, Ben Ross, outshined the competition again. He carried the Rafters to a 5-2 win over the Rockford Rivets.
The Rats bats were held silent in the top half of the first inning. However, the Rivets came ready to play in the bottom half. Rockford put two on the board on Rafters All-Star starting pitcher, Grant Manning, to put them ahead, 2-0. However, Rafters All-Star Garrett Broussard had an RBI single in the top half of the second to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. Manning threw a 1-2-3 bottom half of the second to retire the Rivets.
The Rafters had a major scoring opportunity to begin the third. After singles from Chris Conniff, Ben Ross, and McKinley Erves to lead off the inning, the bases were loaded with none out. However, Rivets starter, Ross Thompson, pitched out of the jam without allowing a run. Grant Manning threw a scoreless bottom half of the third to end his night. He gave up two runs on two hits, allowed three walks, and struck out two. Michael Lindsey entered the game for the Rafters in the fourth, as he threw two innings of scoreless baseball in the fourth and fifth.
In the top half of the sixth, the Rats bats finally came to life. After a leadoff double from Jacob Igawa and a single from Garrett Broussard, Nate Nankil hit an RBI single to tie the game up at 2-2. After a Rockford pitching change, Harry Owen and Seth Stroh were retired for outs one and two. Chris Conniff drew a two-out walk, which brought up Ben Ross with the bases loaded and two outs. Ross doubled on the left field wall, which cleared the bases and gave the Rats a 5-2 lead.
Connor Kurki and Tanner Chafin each threw a scoreless inning in the seventh and eighth. Alec Burnett struck out the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to earn his third save of the season. Michael Lindsey earned his second win of the season to move him to 2-0. Ben Ross finished 3-for-5 with three RBI.
The Rafters (32-6) will play in Rockford again tomorrow against the Rivets (18-21) at 6:35 pm. Tune in at 6:20 pm on the home of Rafters Baseball, 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.