On a hot and humid Independence Day, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters topped the Madison Mallards 9-3 at Witter Field.
A big first inning staked Rafters starter Tommy Organ (SO, Univ. of North Florida) to an early 4-0 lead. Pat Kelly (FR, Univ. of Nebraska) singled in the first run, and then a mammoth three-run shot from Austin Neary (FR, Western Carolina Univ.) made it 4-0 against Madison starter Daniel Gibson, making his first start of the season.
The game was delayed by nearly 20 minutes due to home plate umpire Allan Barnfield's dehydration and went on for two innings with only one umpire. The Florida native Organ got stronger as the temperatures, which were over 100º, got higher, though. Battling the sweltering heat, Organ worked out of jams and Rafters fielding miscues, scattering six hits and a walk, and three Rafters errors, to allow just three runs. Organ also worked three three-up, three-down innings.
Kenny Towns (FR, Univ. of Virginia) added a homer and a two-bagger, knocking in two runs. Pat Kelly scored three times in a 2-for-4 performance.
In relief of Organ, Nestor Bautista (SO, Ball St. Univ.) tossed two scoreless frames and the Rafters cruised to a 9-3 victory.
Organ (1-3), in his seventh start, picked up his first victory. The win, the Rafters 16th, tied a franchise record for the most wins in a half, and the 16-18 record in the first half makes for the best winning percentage in a half in Rafters' history. The Rafters improved to 3-1 against Madison this season.
Wisconsin Rapids (16-18) takes on Green Bay (21-13) tomorrow for Rosco P. Rafters Garbage Can Bobblehead Giveaway Night presented by Veolia to start the second half. First pitch from Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids is scheduled for 7:05.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters