Rafters Split With Dock Spiders in 2-1 Loss
FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Sometimes, there are battles. Then there are knockdown, drag out fights. Well, tonight in Fondy, the Rafters and Dock Spiders engaged in one of the better and more competitive games in the 2022 season. However, the outcome was not a favorable one for the Rafters, as they fell to the Dock Spiders 2-1.
Both teams were retired 1-2-3 in the first. Dock Spiders starter, David Hagaman, stranded two runs on to end the Rafters top half of the second. However, Rafters starter, Grant Manning, left one stranded in the bottom of the second. Both pitchers traded zeroes back and forth through the fifth inning. Manning threw five scoreless while allowing three hits, one walk, and struck out five.
Hagaman went back out in the top of the sixth but was taken out of the game after a leadoff single from Brendan Bobo. Tyler Tornberg entered the game to pitch for Fondy, as he gave up a single to Jacob Igawa and then a walk to Nate Nankil that loaded the bases. Garrett Broussard would strike for the Rafters lone run of the night with an RBI sacrifice fly, to put the Rafters up 1-0.
Cody Urban entered to pitch for the Rafters in the bottom of the sixth and retired the Dock Spiders 1-2-3 in order. However, after retiring the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh, Urban ran into trouble. A 2-1 fastball was crushed by Fondy’s shortstop, Branden Comia, to tie the game up, 1-1.
Connor Kurki entered the game for the Rafters in the bottom of the eighth, and he retired Fondy 1-2-3. However, he found himself in a tough situation in the bottom of the ninth. After a one-out walk to Andrew Sojka, Kurki threw a wild pitch which allowed Sojka to advance to third. However, Kurki went on to strike out the next two batters to strand the game-winning run on third. For the second straight night, the Dock Spiders and Rafters went to extra innings.
The Rafters were held scoreless in the top of the 10th inning. Tanner Chafin entered to pitch for the Rats in the bottom of the tenth. After retiring the first batter he faced, he hit the next Dock Spider. A Cole Messina single into right field looked to walk off the game, but Nate Nankil threw out the would-be game-winning run. However, one batter later, Evan Smith walked it off with an RBI double. Garner Spoljaric received the win for Fondy and Chafin received the loss for the Rafters.
The Rafters (40-10) play host to the Madison Mallards (22-28) tomorrow night at Witter Field at 6:35 pm. Catch all the action on the Northwoods League Baseball Network with Carter Gledhill or 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.