Rafters tie for first place with Rockers after incredible weekend
By Jacob Heid
GREEN BAY – A critical two-game stint between the Great Lakes West’s top two teams went down in Green Bay over the weekend of Jul. 29-30.
Wisconsin Rapids went nearly a week without an inning played because of severe weather that passed through the area late in the week.
That kept the Rafters a half-game behind the first-place Green Bay Rockers, with a series just on the horizon.
Game one went in favor of the home team, as Green Bay rocked the Rafters by a 9-2 final.
The Rats kept their heads up for game two, stealing one back in a similar fashion, 9-1, in the last game in Green Bay for the season.
Offensively, Anthony Galason led the way with three hits in the two games, including two home runs in game two.
A doubleheader sweep of Wausau on Jul. 31 put Rapids eye-to-eye with Green Bay in the Great Lakes West standings.
Game 1 – Rafters 2, Rockers 7
After nearly a week away from real-time baseball, the Rafters took a game to get back into the groove of things.
The Rockers jumped on Rafters’ starter Jacob Rosenkranz early by scoring five runs in the first two innings.
Rosenkranz couldn’t dial in his pitches and allowed a home run in the first, multiple hits and a pair of hit batters to put Green Bay ahead, 5-0.
Rosenkranz went four innings and gave up six runs on six hits.
With only one hit through seven innings offensively, the Rafters needed something to click.
That something came in the eighth inning, but it was too late after two Rocker home runs in the fourth and fifth made it 7-0.
Ty Johnson knocked one into center field to get the inning going. A walk put two runners on for Brendan Bobo, who drove in Johnson for Rapids’ first run of the game.
Orlando Lorduy hit into a fielder’s choice, getting a second run across the plate.
Game 2 – Rafters 9, Rockers 1
After falling one-and-a-half games back of the Rockers with the game one loss, the Rafter bats woke up for game two.
Wisconsin Rapids scattered 11 hits, which included three home runs.
Aidan Brewer got the first runs on the board with two outs in the top of the second.
Galason hit a one-out single. Two batters later, Brewer stepped to the plate and unleashed a bomb to center field, putting the road Rafters ahead 2-0.
The hits continued in the fourth inning, starting with a double by Broussard to open the inning.
Galason smashed the Rafters’ second home run of the game in the next at-bat, giving the defense a four-run cushion, 4-0, after four innings.
Wisconsin Rapids pitched a gem, starting with Brycen Parrish. He went six strong innings by giving up just one run on three hits and striking out nine hitters.
Green Bay’s lone run came in the sixth, Parrish’s final inning of work.
The biggest offensive inning for the Rafters came in the seventh. Bobo drove in two runs with a double, his first hit of the afternoon.
One more run crossed the plate for the three-run inning. Lorduy drove in Bobo from second with a single.
Rapids held onto a 7-1 lead, scoring twice more in the eighth and ninth inning.
Galason highlighted the final two runs with his second homer of the game in the top of the eighth.
Mitchell Wittkamp closed the game with three innings of on-hit baseball.
The Rafters sit at 33-26 overall on the season as of Jul. 31, tied for first place in the Great Lakes West.