Rafters Welcome Virginia Teammates
Talented Freshman Add Depth To Lineup
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters have announced the additions of outfielder Ernie Clement and infielder Jack Gerstenmaier from the University of Virginia to the 2015 team. Clement and Gerstenmaier will join Brandon Downes, Kenny Towns, George Ragsdale, and Robbie Coman on the list of Cavaliers who have worn the Rafters uniform. The Virginia baseball team is currently ranked the #1 team in the nation.
“We are extremely pleased to again partner with coach Kevin McMullan and the quality program that Virginia has established,” said Rafters general manager John Fanta. “We have an excellent history with the players that have joined us from their program in the past and I expect Jack and Ernie to contribute at a high level this summer.”
OF-Ernie Clement 6’0” 160 lbs (R/R) Freshman
Ernie Clement was able to crack the Cavaliers starting lineup in his freshman season for the Cavaliers, playing in center field. Through his first 14 games Clement is 3rd on the team in batting average at .302, has 1 home-run and 6 RBI’s. He is also tied for the team lead in triples with two.
Clement was a three-time All-New York State Team, All-Conference, and All-Greater Rochester for Brighton High School. Clement is also a two-time Rochester City Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Clement holds Brighton High School career records for plate appearances (329), batting average (.464), singles (87), doubles (34) and stolen bases (38). In addition to the career records, he also holds single-season records for batting average (.560) and runs scored (28).
“Ernie is a superior athlete who has the versatility to play anywhere on the field,” said Rafters field manager Craig Noto. “He is currently starting in center field for the University of Virginia as a freshman, which says a lot about this young man’s ability and athleticism. Ernie will be a driving force in setting the table and creating uncomfortable situations for opposing pitchers. We fully expect him to be a difference maker for our ball club this summer.”
INF- Jack Gerstenmaier 6’1 200 lbs (R/R) Freshman
Jack Gerstenmaier is another Virginia Cavalier freshman set to join the Rafters for the 2015 season. Prior to enrolling at Virginia, he was able to experience summer collegiate baseball after graduating high school last spring when he played for the Newark Pilots in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and was named to the All-Star team. Gerstenmaier is a Richmond, Virginia native who was a standout player at Douglas Freeman High School. He was named 2014 First-Team All-State honoree and led Douglas Freeman to the state championship game where they came up just short against Hickory HS. In his senior season, Gerstenmaier batted .362 with 3 home runs, 18 RBI’s, 26 runs and 22 stolen bases. Gerstenmaier was a three-sport athlete in high school playing two years of basketball and a season of football. The freshman infielder was also part of the #2 overall recruiting class in the nation last year, which was the highest ranked class ever for the University of Virginia.
“Jack is another very gifted athlete who has a skill set that doesn’t have a glaring weakness,” said Noto. “Tools wise this young man can line up with anyone in the country. Jack is very versatile and really fits the mold of the type of player I am looking to have on our ball club this season; he can play all three infield positions as well as some outfield.”
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22ndseason of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.