Rafters Look To Win Eighth Straight
Visit from Kalamazoo offers chance to tie franchise record
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – As they welcome the reeling Kalamazoo Growlers (32-36, 12-20) to town for the first of a two-game set, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (46-21, 22-9) look to extend their season-long seven-game winning streak. With an additional victory, the Rafters would be poised to match the longest winning streak in franchise history—an eight-game mark posted in June of 2012.
Taking the ball for the Rafters will be rising sophomore left-hander Gareth Stroh (Coffeyville CC), who looks to build upon his 4-2 record and 3.83 ERA on the season. Expected to make his team-leading eleventh start of the campaign, Stroh has piled up 54 innings of labor and 46 strikeouts compared to just 12 walks. For Stroh, Thursday night’s meeting marks the first time that he will square off against the Kalamazoo Growlers. A native of Nebraska, Stroh has enjoyed success recently after a mid-season lull that spanned just under a month. The southpaw has won his last two decisions and his worked six innings in consecutive outings, allowing just three runs in the two starts combined, while punching out 10 batters. In his most recent performance of the season, Stroh pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two runs (both earned), while striking out six hitters without a walk in the Rafters’ 11-2 rout of the Rockford Rivets.
Kalamazoo will offer a resistance of Jay Smith, a right-hander from Kalamazoo Valley CC that is in line to pitch for just the fourth time, starting for the second time. With an 0-1 record and an ERA of 18.56, the Michigan native has struck out four while walking five and allowing 15 base hits in 5 1/3 innings on the hill. Only once this summer has Smith pitched three innings or more, an outing in which Smith was tagged for eight runs on nine hits in just three frames.
First pitch between the Rafters and Growlers is set 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.