For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Bombers struck first, but the Rafters had the last laugh June 7, defeating Battle Creek by a final of 9-4. Battle Creek hit in the second with a lead-off home run from Zach Gartner. The cranberry and gold responded with a three-run bottom of the second. Mitch Mallek (St. Cloud State) scored on an error committed by Bombers’ starter Walter Talcott. Seth Mullis (UNLV) capped things off with a two-run double scoring Jake Dunham (Northern Illinois) and Jarrod Watkins (Indiana State). Battle Creek scored three of their own in the third off two hits and two Rafters errors to take a 4-3 lead.
Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV) tied things up at four apiece on the first pitch in the bottom of the third, with a solo bomb to centerfield. His first of the year and the first Rafter to a hit home run at Witter Field in 2018.
Wisconsin Rapids took the lead in the fifth as Payton Robertson (Lamar) collected a lead-off single and later scored on another Bombers error. The cranberry and gold broke it open in the seventh with a four-run, five-hit inning. The cranberry and gold collected four consecutive base hits as the Bombers’ relief corps struggled to keep the Rafters off the board.
Jonathan Hernandez earned the win, his first of the year. He threw three scoreless relief innings with five punch outs. Walter Talcott was given the loss. In five innings, Talcott allowed five runs on six hits while striking out two.