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Rafters Return Home To Square Off With ‘Chucks

Sims

First-place Rats host Woodchucks for fourth meeting of season

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Entering the final stretch of the Northwoods League first half, the first-place Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (18-9) look to win their fourth consecutive meeting with the Wisconsin Woodchucks (13-13). Following Monday night’s double header sweep, the Rafters sit one full game ahead of the Madison Mallards in the South Division standings with just nine games remaining in the first half race.

The Rafters will turn to southpaw Gareth Stroh (Coffeyville CC), who is slated to make his fifth start of the summer season. Originally signed to a temporary contract, Stroh dazzled opposing hitters in his first two starts of the season before running into a wall his last two times on the rubber. In the season’s totality to date, Stroh owns a 1-1 record and a 4.50 ERA. Most recently, Stroh struggled against the Lakeshore Chinooks in front of the Witter Field crowd, lasting just two innings and giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks. His June 22nd outing against the Chinooks was the only time this summer that the Rafter strikeout leader failed to record a punch out.

Stroh will be met by Notre Dame right-hander Connor Hock, who also is in line for his fifth start of the season. To this point, Hock has enjoyed success in the Northwoods League, posting an unblemished 1-0 record and 2.64 ERA in 17 innings of labor. In Hock’s four starts, the Woodchucks are just 2-2 and have lost the last to games in which Hock has started. Trailing the Rafters by 4 1/2 games in the South Division race, the ‘Chucks will look for a strong start from Hock as he tries to quiet a Rafter lineup that plated 16 runs in 14 innings between two games on Monday night.

The formula has been fairly simple for the Rafters, a team that is fortunate to have received strong bullpen backing to this point in the season. In games in which the Rafters score four or more runs, they have piled up an astounding 16-1 record. On the other side of their tremendous success with four or more runs, the Rafters are just 2-8 when held to less than four tallies.

First pitch at Witter Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening to the public at 6:05 p.m.

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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 Rafters as your favorite team.