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Rafters Drop Game Two to Woodchucks, 11-1

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – In what was an elimination game for the Wausau Woodchucks, they answered in a big way in front of a packed-out Witter Field.  The best-of-three series is now tied up between the Woodchucks and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters at 1-1 after an 11-1 win by Wausau.  

The Woodchucks got started early in the top of the first, as they took a 1-0 lead on a wild pitch from Rafters starting pitcher Ben Amon.  However, the Rafters tied it up in the home half via an RBI single from Jacob Igawa.

With a 1-1 ballgame heading into the top of the second, Wausau started to pour it on.  A Drew Stengren two-run homer pushed the Woodchucks back ahead, 3-1.  Then, a pair of RBI singles from Chase Hug and Elie Kligman extended the Wausau lead out to 5-1.  Amon was done after two innings for the Rafters. 

Ethan Peters entered the game in relief for Wisconsin Rapids in the top of the third, as he retired the Woodchucks 1-2-3 in order.  However, the Woodchucks added onto their lead in the top half of the fourth via a Chase Hug two-run homer and an RBI single via Jakob Boos.  Peters exited the game after the top half of the fourth for the Rafters. 

With an 8-1 lead, Wausau did not let up.  JJ Almeda entered the game to pitch for the Rafters in the top half of the fifth, as he gave up a three-run homer to Tyler Cox that gave the Woodchucks an 11-1 lead.  However, Almeda recovered to hold Wausau scoreless in the top of the sixth inning to end his night.  

Liam Alpern came in the game to pitch for Wisconsin Rapids in the top of the seventh, as he held Wausau scoreless in his first inning of work.  Nick Marshall, Wausau’s starting pitcher, retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh and was then removed from the game.  He threw 6.2 innings, 106 pitches, allowed one run (unearned) on three hits, and struck out 12 Rafters. 

Alpern retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the eighth and was then replaced out of the bullpen by Cael Chatham.  He struck out a Woodchuck to end matters in the top half of the eighth, and then Chatham held Wausau scoreless in the top of the ninth to end his outing.  The Rafters were sat down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to end the 11-1 loss.  Marshall received the win for the Woodchucks, while Amon received the loss for the Rafters. 

The Rafters (1-1) will play host to the Woodchucks (1-1) tomorrow night at Witter Field in a winner take all game three.  Catch all the action on ESPN+ with Carter Gledhill and Jake Herman 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.