By Cooper Perkins
After overcoming a six-run deficit last night, the Rafters were unable to channel the same form on Wednesday night. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (8-7) fell to the Madison Mallards (10-6) by a final score of 10-3 in front of the Witter Field faithful. Home runs victimized the Rafters in their defeat, as the club was bitten for five home runs on the night, the most ever by a Rafter opponent.
For the second consecutive night, the Mallards struck first with a first-inning RBI single from Nate Palace. The Rafters promptly tied the score in the bottom half of the inning, as Joey Morgan (Washington) collected his second RBI in as many days by stroking a line drive run-scoring single to left field.
The Mallards seized the lead in the top of the fourth inning, courtesy of a Matt McCann solo home run with one out. Several batters later, the Mallards plated an additional run on Zach Jarrett’s RBI single, scoring Cameron Frost from third base.
After two more home runs widened the margin to 6-1 in the top of the fifth, starter Gareth Stroh was lifted, having allowed six runs in four innings. Cameron Busby (Georgia College), who relieved Stroh, threw three innings of one-run work for the Rafters. Jacson McGowan (Purdue) made his pitching debut for the Rafters in a scoreless eighth inning and recorded his first strikeout. Blair Lakso (Buffalo) also pitched an inning in relief, surrendering two home runs in the top of the ninth inning, pushing the deficit to 10-1.
The Rafters were able to string a collection of good plate appearances, plating a pair of runs courtesy of back-to-back infield singles from Patrick Cromwell (Santa Ana College) and Dustin Woodcock (SIU-Edwardsville)to narrow the score to 10-3. Unfortunately for the Rafters, Rob Calabrese(Illinois-Chicago) was struck out with runners on the corners, ending the ballgame.
The Rafters will welcome in the Kalamazoo Growlers tomorrow night to begin the final series of their six-game home stand. Gates will open at 6:05 PM, as game time is set for 7:05 PM.
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