For the City Times
Layne Henderson earns his 12th save in a four-out effort on the mound
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Timely offense aided Wisconsin Rapids (35-13, 8-4) on Thursday in Madison (26-22, 7-5) to help pick up a 5-2 win at Warner Park to start a two-game series with the Mallards.
Madison threatened in the first inning as Cole Daily smacked a leadoff double on the first pitch, but was thrown out at home after Dustin Woodcock caught a fly ball off the bat of Doran Turchan and nailed Daily tagging from third. Rapids put two runners on with two outs in the second, but Madison starter Nate Brown worked out of the jam.
The scoring got underway in the bottom of the third when Thomas Smart launched a solo home run off Rafters starter Isaiah Carranza to give the Mallards a 1-0 lead.
The Rafters offense responded in the sixth when Nick Anderson led off with a walk. Dustin Woodcock singled to put runners at the corners, and Bryson Stott and Christian Jones each drove in a run with RBI base hits to left field.
Madison wasted no time in evening the game in the sixth. Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. Drove a single to right to drive in Zac Taylor to even the game at two after six.
In the bottom of the seventh, Madison loaded the bases after Cade Bunnell was hit by a pitch, while Daily and Taylor drew walks. Mason McReaken (2-1) struck out Doran Turchin to stand all three runners and keep the scored tied 2-2.
Jones led off the eighth with a walk for the Rafters, and scored on a Daily error to give the Rafters a 3-2 lead. Ryan Stekl and Scott Kapers notched back-to-back hits to load the bases, and Guenther scored on a wild pitch. Charlie McConnell grounded into a fielder’s choice to put Wisconsin Rapids in the lead 5-2.
Layne Henderson entered the game for Rapids on the mound in the eighth with two outs, getting Bunnell to fly out to end the threat. The Rafters reliever stayed in the game for the ninth, allowing a leadoff walk to Brock Weimer. The righty buckled down, striking out the side to finish the game and earn his 12th save in as many tries this season. McReaken earns the win while Dom Savino (1-1) takes the loss for Madison.
Wisconsin Rapids is now 3-2 against Madison this year, including 2-0 at Warner Park in Madison.
Both teams square off on Friday to finish the series. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. with coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.