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Published On: June 15th, 2016


Final meeting offers Rafters a chance to win season series

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (8-6) return to action tonight against the Madison Mallards (9-6) riding the thrill of overcoming a 6-0 deficit last night to plate the final nine runs of the ballgame and sink the Mallards by a score of 9-6.

Tonight’s matchup, the eighth between the two clubs, marks the final meeting of the regular season between the Rafters and Mallards. Due to a scheduling anomaly, the ball clubs do not see each other at all in the second half of the Northwoods League season. Currently owning a 4-3 advantage, the Rafters have guaranteed at least a split with the Mallards, securing just their third .500 or better record against Madison in seven years of existence. Should the Rafters complete the two-game sweep of the Mallards tonight, the occasion would mark only the second time in franchise history that the Rafters bested the Mallards in a season series, with 2012 being the only other instance.

Left-handed pitcher Gareth Stroh (Coffeyville CC) will take the ball for the Rafters tonight in front of the Witter Field crowd, looking to continue his tremendous success in the early-going of 2016. Through two starts, Stroh owns a 1-0 record, a 0.64 ERA, and 15 strikeouts compared to just one walk. In each of his first two outings, Stroh has tossed seven innings and struck out at least seven hitters.

The Mallards, boasting the most explosive lineup in the Northwoods League, will look to derail Stroh’s run of success after hitting two more home runs against the Rafters last night. The Mallards have hit 11 home runs as a team in just seven games against the Rafters, more than the Rafters have hit through their entire 14-game slate to this point.

Stroh’s opposition will be right-hander Heath Renz (UW-Whitewater), who makes his third start of the season and second against the Rafters. In his first encounter with the Rafters, Renz lasted two innings and surrendered one run before passing the torch to the Madison bullpen in an 11-1 route of the Rafters.

Entering tonight’s ballgame, the Rafters sit 1.5 games behind the first-place Kalamazoo Growlers, who will meet the Rafters for four consecutive games beginning tomorrow night at Witter Field.

First pitch against the Mallards is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with the gates opening to the public at 6:05 p.m.


The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016, 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 150 former 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit more information, visit