Walk-Off Wonder at Witter Wins Rafters Eight Straight

Walk-Off Wonder at Witter Wins Rafters Eight Straight

Jacob Igawa walks it off in the ninth, as the Rats move to 8-1

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – The Rats are hot.  They are hotter than a grill on the Fourth of July, Florida, or even a volcano erupting.  They continued to get hotter tonight after a Jacob Igawa walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to win their eighth straight, 4-3 over the Wausau Woodchucks.

Wednesday night’s game started much the same as Monday night’s game: scoreless.  Through five innings, neither team had scored, but this was in large part due to great pitching.  Rafters starter, Cam Nolet, threw four scoreless innings to start the ballgame giving up two Woodchuck hits, two walks, and one strikeout.  The Woodchucks starter, Ryan Eiermann, also had been scoreless through five as well.  However, danger struck in the form of Rafters third baseman, Brendan Bobo, in the bottom of the sixth when he hit his fourth homer of the season in just as many games to give the Rats a 4-0 lead.

Jake Dahle came on in relief for the Rafters in the fifth and threw two scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth.  However, an Amani Larry RBI single in the top of the seventh tied the ballgame back up at 1-1.  Dahle threw a scoreless eighth to finish his night after four innings pitched, three hits allowed, one run earned, one walk, and six strikeouts.  Daxton Purser came on in relief for the Woodchucks in the seventh and was shut out in his first two innings of work, holding the Rats scoreless.

In the top of the ninth, the Woodchucks brought in two runs on Rafters reliever Preston Howey via a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly to give them a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.  The Rats drew two walks in the bottom of the ninth to have runners on first and second with one out.  Tommy Barth blooped a single into right field which loaded the bases.  Pinch hitter Jack Rogers drew a bases-loaded walk to bring the Rafters within one, 3-2.  Wausau made a move to the bullpen to bring in right-hander Caleb Rutledge.  The first batter he faced was the Rats designated hitter, Jacob Igawa.  After fouling off a first-pitch fastball and taking ball one, Igawa sent a 1-1 fastball right back where it came from up the middle into center field that brought home Aidan Brewer and Tommy Barth to give the Rafters their eighth straight win and their first walk-off of 2022.  Preston Howey received the win, as Purser of Wausau received the loss.  Wisconsin Rapids sits at 8-1 and Wausau at 3-6.

The Rafters will be back in action tomorrow night at Athletic Park in Wausau to take on the Woodchucks at 6:35 pm.  Tune in on WFHR 1320 AM/97.5 FM to listen to Brett Loftis and Carter Gledhill call the action from Wausau.

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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]