Rafters split doubleheader with Growlers
For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (14-15) won game two of the doubleheader taking down the Kalamazoo Growlers (21-9) in another high scoring game by a final of 14-11. The Rafters scored first again in the first. Mike Rojas (Auburn) nailed an RBI single to score Steven Rivas (Long Beach State) and Ty Duvall (Vanderbilt) scored on a wild pitch. Kalamazoo responded with two runs in the top of the second to tie it up at two apiece after one and a half.
The Rafters scored 12 runs from the third to the seventh innings. The Rafters were held scoreless in just the second and eighth innings. Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV), Mitch Mallek (St. Cloud State), and Matt Schmidt (Michigan) collected RBI singles to plate the three runs in the third. Two more Rafters runs crossed home plate in the fourth after Rivas and Wold smacked base hits.
The Growlers began a comeback attempt, scoring a run on an RBI sac fly from Baron Radcliff in the fifth. The cranberry and gold answered the next half inning with a two-run home run to right field from Brody Wofford (UCF) who was just getting started. Kalamazoo responded with a home run of their own in the sixth, a three-run shot to left field from Ivan Johnson. Three consecutive Rafters doubles was the retort. Duvall, Wold, and Rojas earned the extra-base hits with Wold’s and Rojas’ resulting in runs coming home.
Taking an 11-6 lead to the seventh, the Rafters allowed a lead-off home run to Niko Kavadas but nothing else in the top of the frame. Wofford would answer Kavadas’ long ball with his second two-run homer of the night. Mike Rojas collected his second RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Rafters led by seven entering the top of the ninth, and the Growlers would not make it easy. After Kalamazoo loaded the bases, Hunter Robichaux (Bucknell) came in to the bases loaded jam. While four runs came in on three Growlers hits and one Rafter error, Robichaux got Sam Crail to line out to shortstop and struck out Zach Daniels to ensure the Rafters 14-11 win.
Kyle Hodgson (1-0, 3.54 ERA) earned the win — his first of the year. Kyle Virbitsky (1-2, 4.32 ERA) suffered the loss for the Growlers, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits.