Rafters Rescued by Bobo in Win Over Wausau

Rafters Rescued by Bobo in Win Over Wausau

Bobo’s two-run shot powers the Rats to their 37th win

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – On a night in which pitching reigned supreme, the Rafters needed some rescue offensively.  The Rats bats were carried by the 2022 Northwoods League All-Star and Home Run Challenge Participant, Brendan Bobo, in their 3-2 win over the Wausau Woodchucks.

Rafters starter, Cooper Robinson, retired the Woodchucks in order 1-2-3 on seven pitches in the top half of the first.  McKinley Erves got the Rafters first hit of the night in the home half of the first but was left stranded on second to end the inning.  Robinson retired the side again in order in the top half of the second.  Nate Nankil led off the home half of the second with a double.  With Nankil on second, Harry Owen roped an RBI single into left center to put the Rafters up 1-0.

Cooper Robinson again retired Wausau in order in the top of the third inning.  He finished his night after three perfect innings while striking out one Woodchuck along the way.  Logan Schulfer entered the game in the top half of the fourth, as he retired the Woodchucks in order 1-2-3 on 10 pitches.  However, Wausau finally struck with one out in the top half of the fifth.  Ryan Sepede hit a solo homer, as he tied up the game 1-1.  Schulfer’s night was done after he stranded the bases loaded to end the top half of the fifth.  He threw two innings while allowing one run on two hits, two walks, and struck out three.

Connor Kurki entered the game for the Rafters in the top of the sixth, as he threw a scoreless top half of the sixth.  After a McKinley Erves one out walk in the bottom of the sixth, Brendan Bobo came up to the dish.  Bobo, who has been a thorn in the side of the Woodchucks all season, struck again against Wausau.  He smashed a 402 foot two-run homer, his league-leading 11th homer, to give the Rafters a 3-1 lead.

Connor Kurki pitched into a jam in the top half of the seventh, but he stranded the bases loaded as he finished his night.  He threw two scoreless frames while allowing three hits, one walk, and struck out two Woodchucks.  The third-year Rafter, Donovan Brandl, made his 2022 season debut in the top of the eighth.  He gave up an RBI single to Chase Hug, but kept the lead intact, 3-2.  Preston Howey entered the game for the Rafters in the top of the ninth with a save opportunity.  After a one-out walk, Howey induced a ground ball to third which turned into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.  Howey converted the opportunity for his 10th save of the season.  Connor Kurki earned his first win as a Rafter, as he moved to 1-0 in 2022.

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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. 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.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]