Streaking Rafters Host Woodchucks
Rafters look for sixth straight win
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – In the aftermath of a two-game sweep of the Kenosha Kingfish, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (44-21, 20-9) welcome the Wisconsin Woodchucks (30-35, 17-13) to Witter Field for the front end of a two-game tilt. The Rafters, who have won five consecutive games, look to stay unbeaten in 2016 against the Woodchucks and to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games. To this point in the season, the Rafters have thoroughly dominated the head-to-head series with the Woodchucks, running their record to a perfect 6-0.
Tasked with quieting a potent Woodchuck lineup will be right-handed starter Chris Cooper (Texas A&M Corpus Christi), who enters play with a 4-1 record and a 1.30 ERA in 48 1/3 innings of work, striking out 31 batters and walking 14. After dominating in the first half of the season, Cooper has cooled since the start of July, having allowed at least two runs in each of his last three starts. In his most recent outing, Cooper pitched well against the Eau Claire Express, quieting the lineup through six innings before finding trouble in the sixth inning. Upon his exit from the ballgame, Cooper had thrown 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits and three walks, while striking out five. A native of Texas, Cooper has faced the Woodchucks once previously this season—his first start of the campaign—and picked up a victory by throwing five innings and allowing only one unearned run in a 13-3 route on June 2. Wisconsin’s lineup, however, has changed markedly since Cooper’s first encounter with the Woodchucks, as the ‘Chucks have posted double-digit run totals in five of their last seven games, including a 22-run outburst against the Battle Creek Bombers on Sunday.
Cooper’s opposition on Monday night will be University of San Francisco right-hander Scott Parker, who is tied for the Northwoods League lead with seven wins. Despite an ERA north of four, Parker has consistently offered the Woodchucks a chance to win, en route to compiling a 7-1 record in 11 appearances (nine starts). A member of the South Division All-Star squad, Parker has struck out 29 compared to issuing 17 walks in 53 1/3 innings of work. Parker, a redshirt freshman, has won five consecutive decisions for the Woodchucks, an unbeaten streak dating back to June 18. The appearance will mark his second of the year against the Rafters and his first in a starting capacity after working a scoreless inning of relief in the Rafters’ 13-3 route of the Woodchucks on June 2. In Parker’s most recent outing, he turned in an uncharacteristically shaky performance. Despite being tagged for a season-high seven runs (four earned) on nine hits and one walk, Parker earned the victory in a 15-7 shootout win over the Kalamazoo Growlers.
First pitch at Witter Field is slated for 7:05 PM with gates opening to the general public at 6:05 PM.
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.