Rats Bats Heat Up Against Mallards

Rats Bats Heat Up Against Mallards

Rafters fall behind early and stay up late to win 7-6

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – The Rafters bats have struggled to start the season.  However, in game three of 2022, the Rats were able to get timely hits in clutch situations that resulted in a 7-6 win over the Madison Mallards.

The game started off in about the worst way a baseball game can start.  Rafters starter Xavier Rivas gave up four runs in the first inning.  Mallards left fielder Payton Smith lined a one-out two-run single into center.  Then just one batter later, catcher Josh Caron drove in Smith with a two-run bomb over the right-center field fence.

The Rafters got on the board in the bottom half of the first due to a pair of errors from the Mallards defense.  Joe Osborn scored a one-out single, then got moved to second on an E5 put into play by Harry Owen. Mallard starter Mike Finan balked which advanced Osborn and Owen up to second and third with only one out.  Rafters right fielder Marco Castillo popped out to first baseman, Sam Vomhof, in foul territory.  Osborn tagged up from third scoring on a sacrifice fly, then an errant throw home by Vomhof led to Owen also scoring on the play as the Rafters made it a 4-2 ball game.

Rivas went 1-2-3 in the top of the third, then Rafters put two more on the board in the bottom of the second.  Levi Jensen scored off of a fielder’s choice put into play by Ben Ross, then Joe Osborn recorded an RBI groundout that tied it up at 4-4.  Both teams were then held scoreless in the third, as Rivas recorded another 1-2-3 top half.  However, in the top of the fourth, there was a delay when Caron fouled a pitch off of home plate umpire Jack Berry.  After a 15-minute delay and a new home plate umpire, Rivas hung another zero.  He threw five innings giving up four runs and striking out eight Mallards.

Neither team would score again until the Rafters hung three on the board in the bottom of the sixth.  Chris Conniff knocked in Jack Rogers to make it 5-4, then Levi Jensen scored on a passed ball to make it 6-4.  For the final Rafters run of the night, Harry Owen knocked in Ben Ross on an RBI single to make it 7-4.  While this was the game-winning run inevitably, the Mallards gave the Rafters a scare in the eighth.  Josh Caron had an RBI single, then a fielder’s choice made it a 7-6 ball game.  However, Rafters reliever Ben Adams escaped the inning with the lead intact.  Preston Howey came into the game in the top of the ninth and closed it out for the Rafters.  He received the save, Jacob James got the win, and the Mallards Seth Marano got the loss.

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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]