By Cooper Perkins
Winners of nine of their last eleven games at home, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafter (7-4) return to Witter Field this afternoon for their first introduction to the expansion franchise Rockford Rivets (6-6).
In the wake of splitting two games at Warner Park against the first-place Madison Mallards, the Rafters sit just one-half game behind the Kalamazoo Growlers and aforementioned Mallards for first place in the
South Division. Unfortunately for the Rafters, their battle to reach the top of the standings does not get easier in the coming days, as they will meet the streaking Rockford Rivets, who have won four consecutive games.
After stumbling out of the starting blocks to the tune of a 2-6 record, the Rivets corrected course to sweep four games from the reigning NWL champion Kenosha Kingfish and pulled their record to .500. The Rivets’ four-game set with the Kingfish was a tale of two different approaches, as the Illinois-based squad followed back-to-back dominant pitching performances with a pair of offensive explosions to down the reeling Kingfish.
The Rafters will hand the ball to left-handed pitcher Calvin Giese for his first start of the summer, as the St. Cloud State product will toe the rubber against right-hander Drake Robinson of the Rivets. Giese, currently on a temporary contract, has been excellent in relief work, having appeared in three games, compiling a 1-1 record, and striking out 10 hitters in six innings of work.
First pitch between the Rafters and Rivets will be at 4:05 pm CT.