Rafters Team Report Week Five: April 3rd– April 10th
Rafters Team Report Week Five: April 3rd– April 10th
The Rafters Team Report is a weekly update of your 2017 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters players in their spring seasons. Stay tuned each week for news and stats on players.
By: Mick Tidrow
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Conference season is in full motion while the summer season is right around the corner in this week’s installment of the Rafters Team Report.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi finished last week with a strong showing and a 3-1 record for the week. In the first game of the week, the Islanders held off UTSA 5-2. Nick Anderson proved to be the biggest difference maker in the win, clubbing a three-run home run, his first of the year. Anderson finished up the series against Southland foe Southeastern Louisiana with three hits, including two in the final game. The Islanders took games one and two, but dropped the series finale. Teammate Nkosi Djehuti-Mes did not see action this past week, but has hit two home runs on the season.
Cameron Busby Belmont Abbey compiled his best start of the season this past week, earning the victory in a 12-2 win vs. Limestone. In an eight strong innings, the starter allowed two runs and struck out six, while walking zero. Belmont Abbey took the series against Limestone, dropping the second game 5-3, but winning the rubber match 17-5. Busby holds a 4-3 record in 70 and two-third innings this year. The right-hander has the most innings pitched on the team by nearly 20 innings. Belmont Abbey is slated to take on Armstrong State this coming week.
Jake Repavich of Grand Canyon University tossed seven innings against Sacramento State on the road, but it was not enough as the Lopes dropped the game 7-1. The lefty struck out seven and did not issue a walk. On the season, the junior is 3-3 with a 4.41 ERA. The strikeout to walk ratio for Repavich has been outstanding with 35 punch-outs and mere nine walks. Grand Canyon did take two of three from Sacramento State this past week. Next on the calendar for the Lopes is number 15 Arizona before hosting Chicago State.
Two spotless relief appearances by Trey Schramm helped Xavier pick up two wins this week against Miami Ohio and Villanova. The righty took the hill in both games, tossing an inning a game and striking out two in both games. The four strikeouts in the game raised his season total to 24. Schramm has walked just three batters this season. The Pingree Grove, Illinois native has not allowed a run in four of his last five outings. Schramm lowered his ERA to 4.37 after a strong week. Pitcher David Williams appeared in the same games as Schramm, putting up two scoreless innings in the two combined games with a total of two strikeouts in his best two game stretch of the year. Xavier takes on Wright State and Seton Hall this week.
Gareth Stroh turned in another six-inning start this past week, this time against in-state rival Indiana. In a 7-3 Boilermaker victory against the Hoosiers, Stroh led the way with four strikeouts and three earned runs allowed. Purdue nearly swept Indiana, but dropped the finale 14-9. Stroh’s season continues to build into a strong campaign. In 41 innings, he has a 3-2 record in eight appearances, all starts. Purdue hits the road for a four game road stand, first against Louisville and then finishing the week at Rutgers.
The University of Illinois-Chicago finished last week with a 3-1 mark to move to 20-8 on the season. Winners of 16 of the last 18 games, the Flames finished last week a win against Northwestern and a series victory against Oakland, losing game tow of the series. Rob Calabrese led the way once again for the Flames offense vs. Oakland. I the game one win, the catcher went two-for-three with two runs batted in. He followed suit in the next two games with back-to-back two-for-four performances with three runs batted in in the finale. Calabrese has garnered at least one hit in 12 of the last 13 games for the Flames. The catcher has raised his average to a season high .316 with 21 runs batted in. The Flames look to continue their strong start to 2017 Northern Illinois and a Horizon League matchup vs. Northern Kentucky.
St. Johns River State is deep into its season, logging 47 games and putting up an impressive 32-15 record. The junior college school is 19-4 at home, in large part to the contributions of Rafter signee Nick Owens. This past week, Owens and St. Johns River State picked up two wins, one apiece against Rollins College and Seminole State. In the first win, Owens picked up a hit in two at-bats, scoring a run. In the final game of the week against Seminole State, Owens extended his six game hitting streak in the 8-5 win. The speedster is now hitting .324 on the year, with two home runs and 47 runs scored. Owens has been held hitless in just 10 of the teams 47 games on the season, with 15 multi-hit efforts. Next up for St. Johns River State is Lake-Sumter State and Santa Fe.
Valparaiso finished a strong week with a 3-1 mark, winning a 12-inning affair with Illinois State and taking two of three vs. Northern Kentucky. In an offensive outburst for Valparaiso in game two against Northern Kentucky in a 10-9 win, starting catcher Scott Kapers brought the bat with a three-for-five performance at the plate, smacking his second home run of the year. The utility man has split time this season behind the dish on defense and at second base. The Crusaders take on Ball State in a one game matchup before hosting Oakland for a three game set.
Cal State- Dominguez Hills picked up a series win against Cal St. Monterey Bay with victories in the first two games before dropping the finale. Returning Rafter Brandon Polizzi continued his breakout season this past week. In the first two games, he finished a combined two-for-ten before putting on a three hit performance in the final game with a double and an RBI. Polizzi continues to swing it well this year with an average of .393 on the season. In 34 games this season, the speedy outfielder has at least one hit in all but three games. In 17 of those games, he has at least two hits, with three base knocks or more in eight contests. Cal State San Marcos is next up on the schedule for the Toros.
The bat of Dustin Woodcock sparked a week filled with offense and three wins for SIU Edwardsville. To kick off the week, Woodcock led his team to a 9-3 win against Western Illinois with a three-for-four game including a triple. The outfielder poured in on the rest of the week, finished with three, one, and four hits respectively in a three game series against Eastern Kentucky. In the finale, Woodcock had three runs batted in, finished with six for the week. In his best week of the season, the soon-to-be Rafter raised his average to .360 on the year, up from .303 last week. The junior owns an eleven game hitting streak, with two or more hits in six of those games. SIU Edwardsville next slate of games includes a single game vs. Bradley before taking to the road against Morehead State.
In a tough week for Canisius College against Marist, there were several bright spots, including the bat of Ryan Stekl. Stekl finished with at least one hit and a run batted in during all three games. Stekl is hitting at a clip of .315 this season with a team-high two home runs and 23 runs batted in. The junior has swung it well this season, leading the squad in doubles with seven. Starting pitcher J.P. Stevenson appeared in game to of the series against Marist, tossing four and one-third innings. The lefty finished with two strikeouts in the game. On the season, Stevenson owns the best ERA of all starters on the team at 3.31 and a 4-3 record. He has been a strikeout machine with 38 punch-outs and just 10 walks on the season. Canisius is 16-13 on the year, and takes on Buffalo and Siena this week
Quinn DiPasquale of Stevens Tech started against Alvernia University picked up the win in a six-inning outing. The righty allowed seven hits and one earned run, while striking out three and pitching to contact. Pasquale has now started in seven games this year while appearing out of the bullpen in two games. On the year, the hard throwing pitcher is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.22. He has 36 strikeouts and just 14 free passes this year in 36 innings. Aaron Herr of St. Johns is in his first year with the Red Storm. St. Johns is an impressive 22-5 on the season. Herr has appeared in seven games, all out of the bullpen. The junior is 1-0 in five and two-third innings pitched this year. St. Johns plays host to Albany before hitting the road to take on Butler for three games.
Newly named Rafter Matt Schmidt has been in action this season while Dillon Turney is taking a redshirt season at the University of Central Florida. Schmidt of Cypress College picked up a hit in game two of a three game series against Irvine Valley. Cypress College swept the series, allowing a total of two runs in the three games. On the season, Schmidt is batting .281 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in, while appearing in 26 games. The freshman infielder has scored nine runs. Up next for Cypress College is a one game batted with Cuesta before hosting Canyons and Fresno.
The duo from UNLV in Bryson Stott and Tevita Gerber are deep in to the season for the Rebels. Stott has been an anchor in the starting lineup all season. The freshman is hitting .317 with 16 runs batted in this year, both good for fourth on the team. The infielder has scored 22 runs, second on the team. This past week Stott helped the Rebels snap a losing streak with three hits in the series finale against Air Force with three runs. In the same game, Gerber entered the game and picked up his third win of the season. Gerber struck out five batters and issued zero free passes. 42 innings this year, Gerber has struck out 21 hitters. UNLV hits the road to play Arizona State before traveling home to host San Diego State this week.
Newly named Rafters Andrew Bechtold and Christian Jones are showing off their skills this season as well. Bechtold plays at Chipola College and has impressed at the plate this season. This past week proved to be no different for the LSU baseball commit. In two games, the sophomore finished with a total of four hits, three in the second game of the week. On April 10th at Tallahassee Community College, Bechtold blasted two home runs en route to a team 16-6 win. The infielder is hitting an impressive .453 average with 10 long balls on the year. With 49 runs batted in and 56 runs scored, Bechtold looks to lead his team against Tallahassee CC again this week, while also taking on Pensacola State College in two games. Jones of Campbell University helped lead his team to a 9-7 win against High Point in game two of a three game set. Jones hit his fourth home run of the season and driving in his 20th run. Campbell hosts Duke and Radford this week.
A pair of southpaws has been announced to the club in Jack Eagan and Alex Jackson. Eagan of Madison College has put together a strong campaign in his freshman season. In his most recent start, the lefty threw five and two-third innings and allowing just one hit. Racking up the strikeouts, Eagan finished with a season-high nine on the day vs. Joliet Junior College. In 29 innings this year the freshman has an ERA of 1.24 with 38 strikeouts and just 12 walks. Jackson from Heartland Community College made his last start on March 29th, throwing two innings and earing his first win out of the bullpen. The freshman has pitched 12 and two-third innings this year while owning a 3.55 ERA and 16 strikeouts.
The season and home opener for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters is May 30th at 7:05 against the Kenosha Kingfish. Solarus Founders Club, bleacher 9-Game ticket packages, and group outing packages are on sale now. Call 715-424-5400 or stop by the Rafters Front Office Monday-Friday from 9-5 to purchase a ticket package or book a group outing.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.