Second-place Rafters host Lakeshore for finale of two-game set
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Concluding a brief two-game home stand, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (12-8) will take the field on Wednesday night against the Lakeshore Chinooks (9-14) looking to complete a mid-week sweep against their South Division counterparts.
As expected, last night’s ballgame was characterized by loud arms and quiet bats. After besting the Chinooks in a pitching-centric 2-1 duel last night, the Rafters will look to again win a battle between the two best pitching staffs in the South Division.
Left-handed hurler Gareth Stroh (Coffeyville CC) will toe the rubber for the Rafters, making his fourth start of the young campaign. Stroh, a former temporary contract player, offered back-to-back tremendous outings to begin the summer before struggling through his most recent start against the Madison Mallards at Witter Field on June 15. In four innings on the mound, Stroh was knocked for six runs on 12 hits in route to taking the loss. After dominating opposing hitters through his first two starts, Stroh was tagged for three home runs by the power-hitting Mallards and failed to pitch at least six innings for the first time as a Rafter.
The Chinooks will counter with a southpaw of their own, sending Joe Stoll to the mound for his fourth appearance and first as a stater. The Ohio State product enters play with an 0-1 record and a 4.26 ERA over 6.1 innings. Lakeshore could be poised to turn to their bullpen early in the action on Wednesday night, as Stoll has not thrown more than three innings in any of his three appearances to date.
Tuesday night’s victory snapped the Rafters’ five-game losing streak against the Chinooks that dated back to the first half of the 2015 season. Additionally, at 12-8 the Rafters currently enjoy their best 20-game start to a season in their seven-year history, improving upon last season’s 11-9 mark. Entering play on Wednesday, the Rafters sit alone in second-place, just 1/2 a game behind the Madison Mallards for the top spot in the South Division.
First pitch at Witter Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with 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, 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 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 portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Bullfrogs as your favorite team.