Wisconsin Rapids, WI- One night after the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (19-16) labored to record a base-hit through six innings against the Green Bay Bullfrogs (16-19), Jackson Slaid and Charlie Curl led the way to pace a 14 hit attack to lead the Rafters to a commanding win 12-2, Wednesday evening at Witter Field. The victory concluded the first of the season for the Rafters and gave them a 3-1 mark against the Bullfrogs. The two teams still have four contests remaining against each other in the seasons final 35 ballgames.
Slaid led the way by blasting his eighth and ninth home runs of the season, while collecting five RBI throughout his four at-bats. Slaid’s third hit of the evening was a double to the right field corner. The three hits and five RBI for the Montevallo prospect was a season high and topped a previous four RBI performance against the Lakeshore Chinooks on June 8.
The offense struck early as Jonathan Moroney reached on a two-out single and Slaid followed with his first home run of the evening to give the Rafters the lead, 2-0. The Rafters added another run after Robbie Coman reached on a walk and Jeremy Montalbano brought the run around on an RBI base knock to centerfield, his ninth of the season. The Rafters led 3-0 after the conclusion of the first inning and never looked back.
Slaid kick-started the Rafters fifth inning when the junior roped his second hit of the evening for his fourth double of the season to right field. Coman reached on an error to score Slaid from second base, making the score, 4-1. The Rafters would add their fifth and sixth runs on a home run by Jeremy Montalbano, his third of the season to bust the game wide open.
The Rafters would six more runs the rest of the way as Curl added three base hits and scored a run. All nine members of the Rafters offensive line-up found a way to reach base while eight of the nine added base hits and scored at least one run. The 10-run victory for the Rafters was the largest of the season for a squad that has played in 10 one-run decisions this season.
Brandon Schmidt, making his first start in replace of Justin Peters, threw five strong innings while issuing just six base hits one run. The lone run scored by the Bullfrogs off the Central Arkansas righty was a home run to deep centerfield off the bat of Nick Torres.
Once Schmidt left; the Rafters used a duo of talented bullpen arms to close the game out over the course of the games final four innings. Derek Kawelski and Nick Kolarik each threw two innings a piece, while allowing just one run in the four combined innings of work while striking out six batters.
The 14 runs scored against the Bullfrogs was a season high for a Rafters offensive attack that is looking to build off a strong first half performace to make a run at a second half championship.
The Rafters will open up the second half with a short home-and-home series against the La Crosse Loggers on Thursday afternoon at Witter Field. The Rafters a 4-3 this season against the Loggers, including taking two-of-three against the defending Northwood League champions June 29-July 1. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Fans can listen to tomorrow’s broadcasting by tuning into the home of the Rafters, WFHR AM 1320.
COURTESY WISCONSIN RAPIDS RAFTERS