FOND DU LAC, Wis. – After an incredible couple of days at Witter Field for the 2022 Northwoods League All-Star Game, the Rafters were ready to return to the diamond tonight for regular season play. Despite giving up three unanswered runs across the final four frames, the Rafters still managed to pull out a tight 10th-inning win over the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, 6-5.
Most of the Rafters six runs tonight came in the first frame. On the first pitch of the night, McKinley Erves sent a single up the middle to give the Rats their first hit of the night. In the second at-bat of the night, Colin Tuft lined an RBI double off the left-center wall to put the Rafters ahead, 1-0. Harry Owen later in the inning drew a bases-loaded walk to bring across the Rafters second run of the inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Levi Jensen hit a two-run single that put the Rafters ahead 4-0.
Michael Lindsey, Rafters starting pitcher, gave up two runs in the bottom half of the first, as after one full inning the score was in favor of the Rafters, 4-2. Neither team would put a single run on the board for the next four innings. Michael Lindsey finished his night after throwing four innings, while allowing two hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out five. Donovan Brandl entered to pitch for the Rafters in the bottom of the fifth and threw a scoreless frame.
Finally, the Rafters scored again, as Aidan Brewer launched a solo homer, his second of 2022, to put the Rafters ahead 5-2. However, the Rafters gave up a solo homer to Kemp Alderman in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3. Alderman struck again in the bottom of the seventh against Brandl, when he recorded an RBI single to make it a 5-4 game. Alec Burnett threw a scoreless home half of the eighth, while striking out two for the Rafters.
Preston Howey entered the game to pitch for the Rafters in the bottom of the ninth. After a pair of walks and a hit by pitch, the bases were loaded with one out. Howey hit Kemp Alderman with a pitch with the bases loaded that tied the game, 5-5. However, the next Dock Spider lined out to Aidan Brewer who doubled the runner up at second to end the ninth.
In the top of the tenth, the Rafters quickly recorded two outs. However, a two-out RBI double from Harry Owen gave the Rafters a 6-5 lead. Connor Kurki entered the game for the Rafters with a save opportunity in the bottom of the tenth. Kurki hit the first batter he faced, but then recorded two outs via a pair of fielder’s choice. With runners on the corners and two outs, Nick Mitchell flew out to left to end the game. Preston Howey received the win, his third, and Connor Kurki got his first save of 2022.
The Rafters (40-9) will again travel to Fond du Lac tomorrow night to face the Dock Spiders (25-23) at 6:35 pm. Catch all the action on the home of Rafters Baseball, 1320 AM/97.5 FM, 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 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.