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Rafters Look To Sweep Growlers, Clinch Division Title

Sims-2

A Sunday victory or a Madison loss would net Rafters playoff spot

Kalamazoo, Mich. – After an extra-inning, comeback victory over the Kalamazoo Growlers (18-15) on Saturday night, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (23-10) widened their division lead to three full games with just three games remaining. Entering Sunday’s finale in Kalamazoo, the Rafters control their own destiny and can officially clinch the South Division title with a win or a Madison Mallards loss. 

The Rafters will turn to right-hander Eric Ligda (Millersville) for his second start of the season, looking to secure their spot in the Northwoods League playoffs. Ligda, who has pitched in four games this season, has dominated opposing hitters through his first 15 innings of work. In addition to a 1-0 record and a 1.20 ERA, Ligda has allowed only five hits and three walks, while striking out 20 batters. In his most recent outing, Ligda dazzled against the Wisconsin Woodchucks with six scoreless innings in which he allowed only one walk, one hit, and struck out seven.

Ligda will be met from the Growlers by left-handed thrower Kevin Marnon, who starts for the sixth time and owns a 1-3 record coupled with a 3.90 ERA. Marnon, a product of Ball State, has not faced the Rafters, but has made a habit of eating innings for the Growlers, totaling 30 full frames to this point. In his 30 innings, Marnon has allowed 30 hits, 11 walks, and has struck out 20 batters. Most recently on June 27, Marnon took the loss in a 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Kenosha Kingfish. The outing was Marnon’s worst of the season as he allowed six runs (five earned) and 10 hits with just one strikeout in six innings.

The Rafters enter the game on the brink of officially clinching the division title outright, with only a complex tie-breaker scenario keeping the race alive. Should the Rafters win any of their final three games or the Madison Mallards lose any of their final three games, the Rafters will automatically own the division crown.

First pitch at Homer Stryker Field is slated for 3:05 p.m. local time (2:05 p.m. CT). 

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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.