MADISON (Press Release) - One short-hop proved to be the difference between victory and defeat for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Tuesday night. A throw from short stop with two outs and a runner at third in the bottom of the ninth sailed just low, allowed a run to score and gave the Madison Mallards a 2-1 walk off victory.
Tied 1-1 into the bottom of the ninth, reliever Joie Dunyon allowed a lead-off double to give the Mallards an opening. A sac-bunt and strike-out later the runner still stood at third. A ground ball from pinch hitter Justin Parr rolled to shortstop Garrett Novinski who fired low to first. Josh Cyr could not make the pick to end the inning and the winning run came home.
Brad Douthit held the Mallards in check for seven strong innings to keep the game at its pitcher's duel pace. Douthit allowed a single run, scattering seven hits, with six strike-outs and no walks. Dunyon, the eventual losing pitcher, tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning before the heartbreaking ninth. The Mallards had just one hit after the fifth inning, the double in the ninth that put the eventual winning run on base.
The single run for the Rafters on the night came quickly in the top of the fifth inning. Sam Montgomery launched his third home run of the season deep to left-center to tie the game up. The Rafters however had just two hits from that point on, and only four total base-runners as their offense fell silent.
In the eighth inning the Rafters mounted their largest late threat thanks to a pair of Mallards errors. With one out Bobby Martin reached on an error by the third baseman. After a balk put Martin at second, Alex Edward was called out on a questionable check swing call for the second out. A two out error on a grounder by Brandon Hohl put runners on the corners, but after a pitching change a pop out ended the threat.
After their one game trip to Madison, the Rafters return home Thursday August 4.
Courtesy: Rafters Press Release