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Rafters Survive Offensive Shootout in Madison

MADISON, Wis. – There are usually four different types of baseball games: blowouts, close contests, pitching duels, and offensive battles.  The Rafters have played in every single type of these games this season.  However, tonight in what was probably one of the most competitive games of the Northwoods League season, the Rafters outlasted the Madison Mallards by a score of 14-13.  

The Rats bats started hot out of the gate.  Brady Jurgella launched a leadoff homer, his first in the cranberry and gold, to put the Rafters up 1-0.  In the next at-bat, Chase Call went back-to-back for his fifth homer of 2022.  A Jacob Igawa RBI sacrifice fly gave the Rats a 3-0 lead at the end of the first.  

Rafters starting pitcher, Ben Amon, went six up and six down across the first two frames.  The Rafters added one more in the top of the third via an RBI single from Colin Tuft to go up 4-0.  However, the Mallards struck for two runs in the home half of the third to cut their deficit down to 4-2. 

After a scoreless fourth inning from both sides, the Rafters put two more on the board in the top of the fifth.  An E6 throwing error and a Cael Chatham bases-loaded walk put Wisconsin Rapids ahead 6-2.  Amon held the Mallards scoreless in the home of the fifth to end his night.  He threw five innings while allowing two runs on four hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. 

The Rafters added two more in the top of the sixth via an RBI single from Aidan Brewer and a Colin Tuft RBI sacrifice fly.  Despite an 8-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the sixth, the Rafters were not safe. The Mallards drew four straight bases-loaded walks against Rafters reliever Ethan Peters to draw within two, 8-6.  The Rafters went to the bullpen in the middle of the inning, as they called upon Angel Medina.  He gave up a two-run double to Liam Moreno, and then a two-run homer to Josh Caron, as the Mallards took their first lead of the night, 10-8. 

Despite surrendering a six-run lead, the Rats bats were still rolling.  An Aidan Brewer sacrifice fly, a two-run double from Chase Call, and a Jacob Igawa bases-loaded hit by pitch put the Rafters back ahead in the top of the seventh, 12-10.  However, the Mallards would retake the lead in the home half of the inning.  An E1 throwing error made by the Rafters, an RBI single, and an RBI sacrifice fly for the Mallards put them back ahead 13-12.  Angel Medina threw two innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. 

However, just like all season, the Rafters continued to show fight.  Aidan Brewer left the yard with a two-run homer, his fourth of the summer, to put the Rats back ahead 14-13.  Rafters reliever Preston Howey held the Mallards scoreless in the home half of the eighth.  Connor Kurki entered to pitch for the Rafters in the bottom of the ninth, as he struck out to earn his third save of 2022.  Angel Medina recorded his first win in a Rafters uniform. 

The Rafters (55-14) will play host to the Mallards (25-44) 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. 

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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.