Rafters Win Fourth Straight, Sweep Growlers

Josh Nicoloff had a Grand Slam and Seven RBI

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (10-8) walked 16 times in an 11-7 victory over the Kalamazoo Growlers (5-12) completing the series sweep.

The Growlers got on the board in the first, off an RBI single. Although the Rafters walked three times in the first two innings, it was in the third where their runs began.

Four walks, one hit by pitch, and a hit scored six runs. The hit, a Josh Nicoloff (Kansas State) three-run double to left-center.

The Growlers responded in the fourth, with two hits and two runs. That was all that Rafters starter Justin Beyer (Wagner) allowed, as he retired Kalamazoo 1-2-3 in his fifth and final inning.

Wisconsin Rapids added one in the sixth, making it 7-3, entering the bottom of the sixth.

After a Rafters error, The Growlers strung along four straight hits to score three runs off Donovan Brandl (Wisconsin-Whitewater). In the bottom of the seventh, the score was knotted up at seven, after an RBI single.

The top of the eighth saw three walks to load the bases, for Nicoloff once more. Nicoloff launched a ball over the left-field fence. The Grand Slam gave Nicoloff seven RBIs and the Rafters a four-run advantage.

Devin Rivera (Villanova), after allowing the equalizer in the seventh, pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win.

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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]