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Published On: August 12th, 2023

A feel good win for the Rafters as their 2023 campaign comes to a close

Wisconsin Rapids, WI— It was the final game of the season for the Rafters as they took down the Green Bay Rockers 4-2. They were out hit 9-7, but had a big 4th inning to decide it.

Calen Graham started on the mound for one final time as he went 6.2 innings allowing 6 hits and 6 strikeouts. It was Green Bay that got on the board early. They started off in the top of the 2nd by a single from JoJo Jackson followed by a hit from Polk and the designated hitter, Nainoa Cardinez. There were bases loaded with no outs and Graham did his best to retire the next 3 batters, but Chabot hit a sac fly to bring in Jackson and the Rockers took an early 1-0 lead.

Ty Thurman was given the nod for the Rockers as he led a Green Bay defense through 6 up and 6 down through the first 2 innings. The Rafters really struggled to find the bats as they only had 1 hit through 3 innings. It wasn’t till the bottom of the 4th where the Rafters made their mark. Bornick led off by taking a pitch to the knee followed by a Kyle Carlson single into right field. The Elon catcher, Alex Duffey, perfectly positioned a sac bunt to the pitcher to bring in Bornick to score. Later on in the inning, Jack Gifford smoked a ball into deep center field to allow Carlson to score and the Rafters had a lead for the first time in the day. It was then the defensive genius, Ty Johnson who played all 9 positions today in the field. He hit a ground ball to the 3rd baseman who threw an error to first and Gifford crossed home plate for the 3rd run.

The Rats would continue to make plays on offense as they added to their lead in the bottom of the 6th. With only one out, Alex Duffey ripped a line drive into center field followed by Mrowiec getting walked at the plate. The Rocker reliever, Jason Jennerjohn, struggled to throw strikes and a passed ball allowed the runners to advance. Jack Gifford would continue to stay strong at the plate by flying out to right field, but Duffey gilded home. It was a 3 run lead for the Rafters, but Green Bay would not go away so easily. 

There were 2 scoreless innings of baseball and the Rockers started to gain momentum in the top of the 9th. Joseph Mrowiec stepped on the mound for the Rafters as it was his first work  The pinch hitter, Kendall Ewell, would crush a hit into right center field to lead off with a double. Sam Polk tallied his second hit of the evening by hitting a hard ground ball over to Johnson, but unfortunately he beat out the throw. It was then Nainoa Cardinez who skied a ball into Bornick and Castillo as they were both unable to communicate who was going to field the ball. The ball dropped right in between the two and the bases were loaded with no outs. Mateo Matthews was up and Alex Duffey may have made the play of the game. There was a wild pitch that went behind Duffey and he turned around quickly while making the throw to Mrowiec which he then tagged out Ewell. It was a huge boost of momentum, but the Rats still had work to do. 

Matthews then flew out to center field, but Polk scored. The last out of the season was determined by a Joseph Mrowiec strikeout. The Rafters rained victorious for the final time this season as they improved to 40 wins. It was unfortunate that the Rafters were not able to make the playoffs, but nonetheless they had a terrific season as Wisconsin Rapids finished with a 40-31 overall record. Through the ups and the downs, this team remained as a cohesive unit and really put on a show for the fans night in and night out. Their love for each other is something that will never be forgotten and it was shown all throughout the season. The Rafter organization wants to thank all of the fans for making the trip out to Witter Field to cheer on this team this season, it truly goes a long way. The Rafters will be back in the summer of 2024, but until next time. GO RAFTERS!!

For rafters ticket offerings visit, call the Rafthouse at 715-424-5400, or come visit us over at historic Witter Field. The Box Office is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday at Witter Field, 521 Lincoln Street in Wisconsin Rapids.

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’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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 325 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 and on ESPN+. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods