For the City Times
Plover native Mitch Mallek drives in three to propel Rafters to 4-2 victory
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – After a 3-0 victory on opening day, the Rafters were back in action against the Kingfish at Witter Field. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead, the visitors from Kenosha scored two unanswered and headed to the 9th with a one-run lead. The Rafters forced extras and in the bottom of the 10th Mitch Mallek hit a two-run shot over the right field fence to take the Rafters home to victory. Mallek finished the memorable day 3 for 4 with three runs batted in.
The Rafter started the scoring in the first frame of the game on a Mallek single with two outs, scoring Bryson Scott from second. One run would be all the Rafters get in the frame.
The visitors would strike for their first run of the 2017 season in the top of the fourth inning. After the first two runners reached base safely, Alex Paulson would drive one through the hole on the left side of the infield, scoring Mike Madej from second. Rafter’s starter Quinn DiPasquale would leave the game after hitting Kenosha Centerfielder Connor Doyle and was replaced by left-hander, Sam Carver. Carver would force an inning ending double play to get the home side out of the bases loaded jam. The score was tied at one run a piece entering the bottom of the 4th.
Kenosha second baseman Mike Madej broke the tie in the top of the 8th inning on a solo drive over the left field fence. The home run was the first of the year for either squad. Kenosha led entering the bottom of the 8th, 2-1.
The Rafters were down to their last three outs entering the bottom of the 9th inning when Nick Owens would tie the game with an opposite field strike to right, which scored Shaq Robinson from 2nd. Owens would swipe second base to enter scoring position, but Bryson Stott would strike out swinging to send the game to extras.
Kenosha would bring the go-ahead run to third base but Nick Avila would pop Samuel Vega to centerfield to take the game to the bottom of the 10th. Jake Guenther led off the Rafters half of the inning with a walk and advanced all the way to third via a sacrifice bunt and stolen base. Mitch Mallek entered the batter’s box with two out and on a 1-0 count blasted a fastball over the right field fence to walk-off at Witter Field. The Rafters win in 10 innings against the Kingfish, 4-2, and start the year with a sweep.
The Rafters (2-0) will hit the road Thursday, June 1st to square off with the newest addition to the South Division of the Northwoods League, the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. Thursday’s game will be the home opener for the Dock Spiders at Herr-Baker Field on the campus of Marian University. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. to open a new chapter of Northwoods baseball in Fond du Lac.