Rafters suffer tough walk-off loss by Growlers
For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – After being shutout through seven innings, the Rafters came back in the final two frames to tie it up at two runs. Down to their final out and final strike, Kalamazoo got a walk-off hit from Niko Kavadas as Wisconsin Rapids fell by a final of 3-2.
Kalamazoo struck first in the first and third as Kavadas drove in two with RBI singles. The cranberry and gold kept the Growlers quiet until the ninth. The Rafters, meanwhile, scored their first run from a lead-off solo home run to left from Jarrod Watkins (Indiana State) in the eighth. Wisconsin Rapids tied it up in the ninth as Brody Wofford (UCF) scored on an RBI sacrifice fly from Matt Schmidt (Michigan).
In the bottom of the ninth, Kalamazoo got their lead-off hitter Jonathan Foster aboard via a bloop single to center field. Donovan Clark pinch ran for Foster and stole second to reach scoring position. Kavadas then hit a double to center field for his third RBI and handed the Rafters their first walk-off loss.
Mason Shinaberry (3-0, 1.80 ERA) was given the win for Kalamazoo despite blowing a save situation in the ninth. Jonathan Hernandez (1-1, 1.63 ERA) was given the loss.
The Rafters will close out the two-game series and the road trip June 15 with a 6:05 p.m. first pitch from Homer Stryker Field.