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Published On: July 16th, 2022

MADISON, Wis. – Sometimes, players and teams play better when they play with a chip on their shoulder.  Well, on the night after a nine-run loss, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters recorded a blowout win of their own against the Madison Mallards, 11-0. 

 The scoring started early and often for the Rafters.  After a Ben Ross leadoff single in the top of the first, McKinley Erves hit an RBI double off the right center field wall to give the Rats a 1-0 lead.  After a Brendan Bobo single, Jacob Igawa hit an RBI single to give the Rafters a 2-0 lead.  In the next at-bat, Nate Nankil lined an RBI double to left to put Wisconsin Rapids up 3-0.  The Rats made it 4-0 after a Seth Stroh RBI groundout.  With two outs, Colin Tuft hit an RBI triple to put Wisconsin Rapids up 5-0. 

With an already substantial lead, Rafters starting pitcher, Nick Torres, retired the Mallards in order in the bottom of the first, 1-2-3.  The Rafters and Mallards were both held scoreless in the second and third innings.  Torres finished his night after three scoreless frames, while only giving up one hit and struck out two. 

Ben Ross led off the top of the fourth with a solo shot, his 10th homer of the season, to put the Rafters ahead 6-0.  Josh Howitt entered the game for the Rafters to pitch in the bottom half of the fourth and held them scoreless. He retired Madison 1-2-3 in order in the bottom half of the fifth.  McKinley Erves hit his first homer in his time with the Rafters in the top of the sixth to put the Rats ahead, 7-0.  Howitt threw another scoreless frame in the home half of the sixth.  He only gave up one hit across three scoreless innings, one walk, and recorded four strikeouts.

Alec Burnett threw a scoreless home half seventh for the Rafters, while striking out one.  The Rafters had another offensive explosion in the top half of the half.  After another leadoff single from Ben Ross, his third hit of the night, McKinley Erves hit a two-run homer, his second of the night, to give the Rafters a 9-0 lead.  Both of Erves homers were not only his first two in Northwoods League play, but also two opposite field home runs.  Five batters later, Seth Stroh laced a two-out two-run double down the right field to put the Rafters ahead 9-0. 

Ben Adams retired the side 1-2-3 in the home half of the eighth, in large part due to a 6-4-3 double play.  Donovan Brandl made his second appearance of the season for the Rafters in the bottom of the ninth, as he retired the Mallards in order, 1-2-3.  Josh Howitt moved to 6-0 on the season, as he leads the Rafters in wins.  McKinley Erves, Ben Ross, and Nate Nankil all had multi-hit performances, with Erves leading the way going 4-for-6 with two homers and four RBI. 

The Rafters (38-9) will again be in Madison tomorrow afternoon to play the Mallards (22-25) at 1:05.  Catch all the action on the home of Rafter Baseball, 1320 AM/97.5 FM WFHR, with the Radio Voice of the Rafters, 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 For more information, visit 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.