For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Rafters scored eight runs on 10 hits, committed four errors, but held on to four-run lead by stranding 11 Woodchucks base runners in an 8-4 win. The cranberry and gold struck first in the second with an RBI single from Tommy Szczasny (Northern Illinois) and scored Jordan Larson (Northern Illinois).
Wisconsin responded with a three-run bottom of the second. Three Woodchucks touched home plate on three Rafters errors. Wisconsin Rapids tied it up at three apiece by scoring two in the very next frame. Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV) hit an RBI double in his second at-bat as a Rafter scoring Payton Robertson (Lamar). A Josh Campbell (Stephen F. Austin) RBI single scored Wold to tie it up.
The Rafters took the lead 4-3 in their half of the fourth as Mitch Mallek (St. Cloud State) scored on a wild pitch from ‘Chucks reliever Everett Hurst. In the sixth, Steven Rivas (Long Beach State) blew it open hitting a double to center with the bases loaded. The double cleared the bases to give the team an 8-3 lead; however, the Woodchucks would not go away. Michael Fernandez scored on an error in the seventh to make it 8-4 Rafters. With two outs and the bases full of Woodchucks in the eighth, Hunter Robichaux (Bucknell) would be called upon to get the Rafters out of the jam. Robichaux shined with a strikeout of Mason Doolittle in just three pitches.
Robichaux completed the ninth as well to earn his first save as a Rafter. Bobby Dorta earned the win by throwing four scoreless relief innings with three punchouts. Hurst suffered the loss for Wisconsin in his Woodchucks debut.
The Rafters host the Woodchucks in their home opener tomorrow night with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The Bullfrogs then hop into town on June 2 for a 6:05 p.m. start to wrap up the two-game homestand.
Get your tickets by visiting the Witter Field Ticket Office, calling 715-524-5400 or visiting raftersbaseball.com.