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Rafters Add to Strong Pitching Staff


Right-Handed Pitchers Danton, Johansmeier Bring Plenty of Innings to the Rafters

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are pleased to announce the signing of a pair of right-handed pitchers. Matt Danton (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) and Jake Johansmeier (Eastern Illinois) have both signed contracts to join the Rafters for the 2014 season.

RHP – Matt Danton, 6’3”, 175 lbs (R/R) Junior
Danton is off to a solid start in his junior campaign with Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. In his three starts he leads the team in innings pitched (21.1), wins (2), WHIP (0.89), and K/BB rate (14/3) while his ERA sits at a sturdy 2.53. He’s picking up right where he left off in 2013 when he debuted as a starter during conference play. His final stats of 70.2 innings pitched, a 5-3 record, and a 4.20 ERA were compiled as a reliever and starter but weren't indicative of his late season success. In four of his last five starts combined, Danton allowed a total of four earned runs while striking out 11 and walking only one. Primarily a reliever his freshman season he appeared in 18 games, starting three, while posting a 3.81 ERA. The Conroe, Texas native is currently majoring in mechanical engineering.

RHP – Jake Johansmeier, 6’3”, 170 lbs (R/R) Sophomore
No stranger to the Northwoods League, the former Lakeshore Chinook brought his A-game last year in a brief five-game stint in 2013. Starting all five games, Johansmeier posted a 2.14 ERA in 29.1 innings of duty. The Eastern Illinois teammate of newly minted 2014 Rafter Marshawn Taylor will look to continue his pitching success this year from the home mound at Witter Field. This spring he has started three games for the Panthers, posting a 4.15 ERA and 1-1 record in 17.1 innings on the bump. He was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference newcomer team during his freshman season after earning a 3.70 ERA and 3-4 record in 48.2 innings of duty. His early success comes as no surprise since the St. Charles, Illinois native was ranked as one of the top-25 ranked players in Illinois out of high school.

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The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.