Rafters Look To Sweep Growlers At Home
File takes the ball in the last of six consecutive home games
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Riding the wave of a franchise-best 10-0 shutout victory on Thursday night, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (9-7) will return to action on Friday to meet the Kalamazoo Growlers (10-7) for the second of four consecutive match ups.
After Chris Cooper’s (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) tremendous performance last night in the form of seven dominant innings, the Rafters will hand the ball to fellow right-hander Dylan File (Dixie State) for his second start of the season. In his only other start of the season, File quieted the Madison Mallards at Warner Park for five innings before passing the torch to the Rafter bullpen. Despite five errors, the Rafters managed to cement a 5-4 victory, giving File his first—and only—win of the season. Entering the action tonight, File owns a 1-0 record, a 3.00 ERA, and nine strikeouts compared to just two walks in nine innings on the hill.
File will be met by Growler right-hander B.J. Butler. Butler, who has yet to allow an earned run, offers the Rafters a substantial challenge as they look to finish their six-game home stand with a victory and to head to Kalamazoo with a 2-0 record against the Growlers. Butler, the second Ball State pitcher the Rafters have faced this summer, has allowed just nine base hits and has not issued a walk, while striking out 14 batters in his 16 innings of action.
In the field, the battle between the Rafter catching corps and the Growler running game will rage on. Most recently Scott Kapers (Valparaiso) silenced the Kalamazoo base runners on Thursday night, throwing out a pair. Northwoods League stolen base leader Connor Kopach will look to get back on track after Kapers caught him stealing last night—just the third time in 17 attempts that Kopach has been unsuccessful.
Thanks to another productive evening, Rafter third baseman Patrick Cromwell (Clemson) extended his team-best on-base streak to 15 games. Since an 0-for-4 evening on opening night in Green Bay, Cromwell has reached base in every game for Wisconsin Rapids.
Tonight’s home game will be the Rafters’ twelfth such game of the season, marking the highest total in the Northwoods League. First pitch at Witter Field is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:05 p.m. and fireworks slated for after the conclusion of the gam.
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 www.northwoodsleague.com. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.