Madison - A second half run cannot be made without first winning a game. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters took care of that Saturday night with a 7-2 win over the Madison Mallards at Warner Park.
A single run in the top of the first gave new Rafters starter Augey Bill a lead to work with. Bill took that lead and posted three straight scoreless innings before allowing a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. The 6-foot-8 lefty allowed just three hits to Madison over five full innings to secure his first win in the Northwoods League.
By the time the Mallards scored their pair in the fourth, the Rafters had tacked on three of their own in the top half of the inning. A walk and a single put two on for Bill Charvat with no outs. Charvat dropped down a sac bunt, and when the throw to first sailed wide, one run scored. Bart Steponovich then doubled to plate another run and give the Rafters a 3-0 cushion. After a ground out, Garrett Nash lifted a fly ball to center, deep enough to score a fourth run and put the Rafters up 4-0.
The Rafters scored an insurance run in the fifth, scoring a one on a Curtis Frisbie sac fly. In the seventh, one of four Madison errors in the game opened the door for the Rafters to score twice. Cody Koback singled home a run, then scored on an RBI double off the bat of Sam Montgomery. Koback ended the night with two hits, a run and an RBI while Brandon Hohl notched a pair of hits, scored a run and drove in one.
After the stellar five innings from Bill, reliever Kevin Wild faced the minimum over the sixth, seventh and eighth. The right-hander hit a batter, but his catcher Steponovich gunned the runner out trying to swipe second. Wild set down the next seven, striking out three on the night. Joie Dunyon came on to finish the game in the ninth, allowed a hit, but induced a line out double play and capped the Rafters win with a strike-out.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Rapids Rafters