Rafters Suffer Setback in Rain-Shortened Loss Against Rockers
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – Sometimes in sports, no matter how much one team is superior to the other on paper, it is irrelevant when the game starts. In the 2022 Northwoods League season, the Green Bay Rockers had “the number” of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters at Witter Field. The Rockers won their third game of the season over the Rafters at Witter Field this season by a score of 6-2.
After a scoreless frame tossed by Rafters starting pitcher, JJ Almeda, in the top of the first, the Rats bats struck first in the home half. McKinley Erves scored on a wild pitch to put Wisconsin Rapids up 1-0. However, the Rockers tied it up in the top of the second via a sacrifice fly.
The Rockers would take their first lead of the night in the top of the third via a wild pitch to make a 2-1 game. Almeda finished his night after three innings of allowing two runs on three hits, two walks, and no strikeouts. However, the Rafters tied the game back up in the bottom half of the third, after Colin Tuft stole third base and came home to score on an E2 throwing error.
Donovan Brandl came into the game to pitch for the Rafters in the top of the fourth, as he retired the Rockers 1-2-3. However, the Rockers took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth via a solo homer from Carson Yates. Green Bay continued to extend the lead in the top of the sixth, as a two-out two-run single from Yates put the Rockers up 5-2.
Brandl fired a scoreless top half of the seventh to end his night. He threw four innings while allowing three runs on three hits, four walks, and no strikeouts. The Rafters had a golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the seventh inning. A Chase Call double, Garrett Broussard single, and a Chris Conniff walk loaded the bases with no outs in the inning. However, the next three Rafters were all retired in order, including a pair of strikeouts, to strand the bases loaded.
Green Bay added one more in the top of the eighth to make it a 6-2 game. The game went into a weather delay in the top of the eighth and would be ruled final. Donovan Brandl suffered the loss for the Rafters, and Eli Frank got the win for the Rockers.
The Rafters (52-13) will again play host to the Green Bay Rockers (25-39) tomorrow night at Witter Field at 5:05 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. Now in its’ 29th 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, 300 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 and on ESPN+. 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.