FOND DU LAC, WI – The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders (33-29, 14-14) return home for Heart Health Night and the final Fireworks Friday of the season against the Green Bay Rockers (24-38, 14-12). The first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Heart Healthy Weaver bobblehead courtesy of SSM Health. Plus, all fans can enjoy post-game fireworks presented by the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund. The Dock Spiders will also wear special Heart Health jerseys that are available for auction online until Monday, August 8 at 10:00 a.m.
SAWYER’S SWINGING IT: Dock Spiders INF Sawyer Smith tallied a hit in his fifth straight game with a single on Thursday night against Green Bay… Smith enters today with a hit in five of his six appearances as a Dock Spider… He recorded a hit in 24 of 29 games with the Waukesha Foxes of the Dairyland Collegiate League before he joined the Dock Spiders… He has also tallied multiple hits in three of his first six games with the Dock Spiders.
PLAYING THEM ALL: On Thursday night, C/INF Parker Noland made his second career start behind the plate… Noland had previously caught in high school but had made 228 appearances in the field during his college career between the Albany Dutchmen (Perfect Game Collegiate League), Vanderbilt (SEC), and Fond du Lac… This season, Noland has played every position except for shortstop, center-field, and on the mound.
THE ADVANCED LOOK: Entering today, OF Nick Mitchell (3.1) and OF Andrew Sojka (1.8) are ranked in the top 20 most-valuable players in the Northwoods League by wins above replacement (WAR)… Mitchell enters today as the third-most valuable player in the NWL, and second among outfielders in WAR… Sojka ranks as the 18th-most valuable player in just 23 games, with the highest WAR among all players with less than 25 games played.
WINDY BUSINESS: On Thursday night in Green Bay, the wind was blowing in at first pitch for the first time in a Dock Spiders game since July 15 against the Lakeshore Chinooks at Herr-Baker Field… At Herr-Baker Field this year, the wind has blown out in 19 of 32 home games (59%)…
- In those 19 games, the wind has blown out to left in four games (1-3 record, -26 run differential), to center in five (1-4, -15), to right in 10 (7-3, +27)… The Dock Spiders average 7.8 runs per game when it blows out at home.
- The wind has blown in during two home games this year (June 29 vs. Kalamazoo, July 15 vs. Lakeshore)… The Dock Spiders are 0-2 in those games.
- Herr-Baker Field has a park factor of 103 this season… It ranks as the eighth-most hitter-friendly park among all Northwoods League ballparks.
PATH TO THE PLAYOFFS: If the season ended today, the Dock Spiders would make the playoffs, as they enter today with the second-best overall record in the Great Lakes West Division, two games ahead of the Lakeshore Chinooks and Wausau Woodchucks with nine games remaining… If the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters win the second-half division title, the final playoff spot in the division will go to the next-best overall record.
TODAY’S STARTING PITCHING MATCH-UP
RHP JOSH CULLIVER (FDL) will make his ninth start of the summer, and his second consecutive start against the Green Bay Rockers. Last time out, Culliver struck out three over three innings at Green Bay on July 29. In nine appearances, Culliver has yet to record an out in the fifth inning.
RHP AARON HEGER (GB) is set to make his second appearance of the summer. In his only appearance, at Wisconsin Rapids on July 30, he went 2.2 innings and allowed three runs on three hits.
PHOTO VIA A FLASH OF SUNSHINE PHOTOGRAPHY