For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (15-20) fell to the Madison Mallards (28-8) by two runs for the second-straight night. Down by five after five innings, the cranberry and gold came within two runs and forced Madison to bring out their closer, Trace Norkus, in the ninth.
Madison started the scoring in the third. Trevor Schwecke hit a two-run home run to left after Garrett Keuber reached on an error. Another Mallards run scored in fourth from an RBI single. In the fifth, Madison plated two more off a single and a double.
In the sixth, the Rafters began their comeback attempt. Jordan Wiley (Kalamazoo College) scored on a wild pitch from starter Cole O’Conner to start it off. Garret Keuber and Trevor Schwecke struck again for Madison with RBI base hits for two more runs in the Mallard’s half of the sixth. Wisconsin Rapids continued their uphill battle as Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV) scored on an RBI sac fly from Matt Schmidt (Michigan).
Wold was not finished. With two outs in the eighth, Ethan Stringer (Louisville) worked a walk and Ty Duvall (Vanderbilt) smacked a base hit to center field. Wold then crushed a ball to right field for a three-run blast and pull the Rafters to within two, at 7-5.
Trace Norkus then came in and allowed only a base hit to Jake Dunham (Northern Illinois). After the hit, Norkus retired four in a row between the eighth and ninth to hold off Wisconsin Rapids.
Jake Cook (1-4, 8.20 ERA) suffered the loss. Cole O’Conner (1-0, 3.24) earned the win while Norkus (2-0, 0.00 ERA) collected his tenth save of the season.