Wisconsin Rapids Recovers Late to Defeat Lakeshore
Rats rally behind Igawa’s four RBI night to move to 36-7
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – As the great fictional boxer Rocky Balboa once said, “It ain’t about how hard you get hit. It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Well, the Rafters sustained a few blows early tonight against the Lakeshore Chinooks. However, they powered through to score six unanswered runs to win the game, 6-4.
Lakeshore struck first in the top of the first inning, as Michael Seegers scored from third off a wild pitch from Rafters starting pitcher, Collin Kiernan, to make it a 1-0 game. The Rafters were held scoreless in the bottom half of the first. Kiernan retired the side in order in the top half of the second, but Wisconsin Rapids was also held scoreless in the bottom of the second.
The Chinooks brought two more across in the top half of the third to make it a 3-0 game. Kiernan’s night was done after the third. He threw three innings, as he allowed three runs (one earned) on one hit, two walks, and he struck out three. Ben Amon entered the game to pitch for the Rats in the fourth, as in the first inning of his home debut he threw a scoreless frame. He also retired the Chinooks in order in the top half of the fifth.
The Rats bats finally came alive in the home half of the fifth. A one-out double from Chris Conniff put a runner in scoring position for the Rafters. Two batters later, a two-out RBI single from McKinley Erves brought home the first run of the night for Wisconsin Rapids to make it 3-1. After Brendan Bobo was intentionally walked, Jacob Igawa came up with runners on first and second with two outs. As he has done all season, Igawa, AKA, “Mr. Clutch,” delivered with a three-run bomb, his fourth of the season, to put the Rafters ahead 4-3.
Amon retired the Chinooks in order again in the top half of the sixth to end his night. He threw three scoreless and hitless innings while striking out two Chinooks. Connor Kurki delivered in the top of the seventh for the Rafters, as he shut down the Chinooks for another scoreless frame. Jacob Igawa came up clutch again, as he hit a 99 MPH fastball into right field for an RBI single to put the Rafters up 5-3. Garrett Broussard then had an RBI fielder’s choice to make it a 6-3 Rafters lead.
Alec Burnett held the Chinooks scoreless in the top half of the eighth, as he earned the hold. Preston Howey entered the game to pitch for the Rafters in top of the ninth with a save opportunity. A solo bomb from John Bay brought the Chinooks within two, 6-4. However, Howey secured his ninth save of the year, as he recorded the final three outs. Ben Amon earned his first win as a Rafter, as he moved to 1-0. Ben Ross and Jacob Igawa both had multi-hit nights, with Igawa adding four RBI on the night. He now has nine RBI in the last two games.
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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