Rafters fall to Mallards in season opener
For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – A four-run, four-hit first inning from the Madison Mallards (1-0) set the tone for the evening as Madison plated ten runs, defeating the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (0-1) by a final of 10-2.
Starter Charlie Ruegger (Stevens Institute of Technology) led off the bottom of the first with a strikeout of Trevor Schwecke, then allowed back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases. Madison’s Jayse McLean would clear the bags with a three-run double that just missed the glove of Steven Rivas (Long Beach State) in center. McLean scored with the next batter on an RBI single.
Ruegger would end the inning but was done after one inning of work. The Rafters bullpen held their own for a time as Chandler Greenfield (Dixie State) and Kyle Hodgson (Framingham State) combined to throw four scoreless innings.
The Rafters scored a run in the third. Jake Dunham (Northern Illinois) reached first on an error and later scored on an RBI groundout from Payton Robertson (Lamar). Madison resumed their offensive attack scoring six unanswered runs from the sixth to the eighth inning. The Cranberry and Gold showed signs of life in the ninth, scoring a run on three hits, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Charlie Ruegger was handed his first loss of the season while Dalton Morrow earned the win for Madison with 7.0 innings of one-run ball.
The Rafters take on the Ducks May 30 at Warner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.