Rafters capture record-tying win
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have been flirting with history all season. On July 3, they made their way into Northwoods League history. With their 28th win in the first half of the season, a 9-6 victory over the Green Bay Rockers, the Rafters tied the 2012 Mankato Moondogs and the 2018 Madison Mallards with the most wins ever in a Northwoods League first half.
Xavier Rivas held the Rockers scoreless in the top half of the first inning, but the Rats’ bats were also held scoreless in the bottom half. However, a Harry Owen RBI double gave the Rafters a 1-0 lead in the second. Wisconsin Rapids is now 17-1 on the season when scoring first.
Green Bay tied the game in the top of the third with a solo homer by Griffin Stevens. But the Rafters answered in a big way. Garrett Broussard and Owen drew back-to-back, bases-loaded walks to give the Rafters a 3-1 lead in the third. Then, Colin Tuft hit an RBI single to make it 4-1. Two batters later, Stone Miyao lined a two-run, two-out single into the outfield to make it 6-1.
Rivas threw a scoreless top half of the fourth inning, including striking out the last two batters he faced, to end his night. He gave up one run on four hits, while giving up one walk and striking out four.
Logan Schulfer entered the game to pitch for Wisconsin Rapids in the top half of the fifth, and gave up one run in each of the fifth and sixth innings to make it a 6-3 game. However, Miyao rang the Rockers’ bell in the bottom half of the sixth, as he launched a solo homer, his first of the year, to make it 7-3. Schulfer gave up one more run in the seventh, and then his night was complete. He gave up three runs on three Rockers hits, allowed four walks, and struck out two.
Tanner Chafin entered the game to pitch for the Rats in the eighth, and the Rockers jumped on him, scoring twice. However, the Rafters got both runs back off a pair of RBIs from Brady Jurgella and Brendan Bobo that put the Rafters back up by three. Alec Burnett came in to close the game for the Rafters. He struck out the first two Rockers he faced, and then caught a popup for out number three. Burnett earned his second save of 2022, and Logan Schulfer his fourth win.
With the win, the Rafters improved to 28-6.