For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters fall to 3-2 on the season after a tough loss to Big Top Baseball rival, the Green Bay Bullfrogs. The cranberry and gold fell 5-12 against the Frogs in their second home game of the season.
Green Bay went up early with a home run to put the Bullfrogs up 1-0 in the top of the third. The Rafters responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. The run was set up by a walk from Steven Rivas (Long Beach State) followed by a single from Payton Robertson (Lamar). Both base runners advanced an additional base on a wild pitch. Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV) put the ball in play and Rivas came across home to tie the game 1-1.
The Bullfrogs put up two additional runs in the top of the fourth and three in the fifth. They would keep the lead for the rest of the game.
The Rafters added one in the bottom of the fifth. Tommy Szsczasny (Northern Illinois) started off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Bullfrogs left fielder. A ball put in play by Robertson advanced Szsczasny to third and he is scored after Wold put the ball in play.
Rapids are the next score in the seventh, settling the score at 3-6. With two outs, Caeden Harris (St. Cloud State) advanced on a walk. Mitch Mallek (St. Cloud State) then hit a double moving Harris to third, and Harris scored on wild pitch.
Closing the top of the eighth inning was a struggle for Wisconsin Rapids. The Rafters commit three errors in the inning and give up six runs on three hits. The Bullfrogs led the Rafters 12-3.
In the bottom of the eighth the Rafters respond with two with a well strung together inning. Jake Dunham advanced to first on a walk followed by Josh Campbell’s (Stephen F. Austin) double. With runners on second and third Szczasny hit the ball to the short stop and scored Dunham. During the next batter Campbell came home on a wild pitch. Both teams closed out the ninth without problem and the score remained 5-12.
Mallek is the lone Rafter with more than one hit, but five others post hits totaling seven for Wisconsin Rapids. The Bullfrogs bested that number with 12 hits of their own.
Charlie Ruegger (Stevens IOT) was the starting pitcher for the Rafters. He gets the loss, however he allowed only five hits and struck out seven in four innings pitched. In for relief was Chandler Greenfield (Dixie State) who went 3.0 innings striking out six. Daniel Ross (Millersville) came in for the eighth inning followed by Hunter Waldis (Seaton Hall) who made his Rafters debut today. He pitched the ninth inning and recorded one strikeout.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are on the road June 3 at Joannes Stadium against the Green Bay Bullfrogs. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. The Rafters will next return to Witter Field June 6 against the Battle Creek Bombers. The entire 2018 Rafters schedule is available at www.raftersbaseball.com.