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Rafters Team Report Week Two: March 14-20

 

Rafters Team Report Week Two: March 14-20

The Rafters Team Report is a weekly update of your 2017 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters players in their spring seasons. Stay tuned each week for news and stats on players.

By: Mick Tidrow

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Non-conference play is in full swing around the country in college baseball with Rafters players making early marks in the 2017 spring season. Nearing halfway point in the season for many teams and players, Rafters look to develop their seasons and make a push into conference seasons.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi has played in 20 games in 2017, and Nick Anderson has been a spark plug in the lineup all year. This past week, the outfielder totaled seven runs batted in to up his total to 16 on the season. In all three games against Sam Houston State, Anderson recorded at least one hit. The consistent bat has raised his average to .274 on the season. In a one game tilt against Prairie View A&M; Nkosi Djehuti-Mes drilled a pinch-hit home run on March 15th. The long ball is Djehuti-Mes’ second blast on the season. The powerful outfielder has started 13 games this season, while batting.250 with 11 runs batted in.

Against Southern Wesleyan on St. Patrick’s Day, Belmont Abbey’s Cameron Busby tossed seven and two-third innings of two run baseball on the way to his third victory on the year. The starter pitched perhaps his most dominant game of the season, striking out a gaudy 10 batters while issuing zero free passes. On the season, Busby has started seven games, tops on the team on his way to a 3-2 record in 49 innings. The right-hander also holds the teams best ERA at 4.56 and punch-out’s with 35. His next start is scheduled to come in a three game set against Pfeiffer.

Taking on a pesky Long Beach State team, Jake Repavich of Grand Canyon pitched six and two-third innings, scattering four hits and four runs. The lefty issued only one walk, but Long Beach State used timely hitting against the southpaw. This season, Repavich has 21 strikeouts while just seven walks issues. The starter’s ERA sits at 4.26 on the season, with a record of 1-2 in five starts.

A 3-1 record last week by the Xavier Musketeers evened their record to 10-10 on the season, and reliever Trey Schramm delivered his best outing of the season against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Tossing four innings of two hit baseball, the righty struck out two while not giving up a walk. The Pingree Grove, Illinois native did not allow a run against the Buckeyes to lower his ERA to 4.61 on the season. Overall, the sophomore is 1-0 in 12 and two-third innings pitched this year. His strikeout to walk ration has been impressive also, sitting at 11 to one. Freshman pitcher David Williams also entered the game against Ohio State, throwing an inning and striking out two batters.

Purdue’s Gareth Stroh has started five games on the mound for the Boilermakers. Last week, Stroh started one game against Santa Clara where the Boilermakers picked up the victory 8-7 courtesy of a ninth inning run. The starter went four innings, striking out two and allowing six hits. Stroh owns a 1-2 record in five appearances In 22 total innings on the season. He has 17 strikeouts on the year. Purdue’s takes on Ball State University in a one game tilt in mid-week action, and then travels to Iowa for a three game set.

The University of Illinois-Chicago is off and running with a six game winning streak. After sweeps of Chicago State and Youngstown State, the Flames sit at 10-6 on the year. Starting catcher Rob Calabrese started off the series against Youngstown State with an RBI single to help pave the way en route to a 10-2 win in the opener. The soon-to-be Rafter finished the three game set with a 1-3 performance in the teams 1-0 win in 12 innings.

With 35 games already logged in the 2017 season, St. Johns River State boasts a record of 23-12 and 7-3 in NJCAA play. The junior college school is 14-3 at home, in large part to the contributions of Rafter signee Nick Owens. The shortstop had his six game hitting streak snapped this past week, but rebounded with a strong 2-4 performance against Daytona State, driving in his 16th run on the season. The speedster is now hitting .347 on the year, with two home runs and 40 runs scored. Owens has been held hitless in just nine of the teams 35 games on the season, with 12 multi-hit efforts. St. Johns River State is slated to take on Daytona State in a two get set, and then take on Central Florida.

Out west in Washington, Seattle University has battled in 18 games this year. Throughout the course of the season, infielder Sean Sutton has 12 hits and four runs batted in. Seattle played in just two games this past week, dropping its first game against UC Irvine in a close game 3-2. Sutton finished the game 1-4 with a single. In the second game of the week, Seattle fought back and beat the Anteaters 8-2. On the docket for Seattle this week is Portland and Chicago State.

Valparaiso starting catcher Scott Kapers opened the series against Write State with back-to-back 1-4 performances. In both games, he recorded singles. He has one of the team’s eight homeruns on the season. Kapers is tied for the third-most RBI on the team with six. The catcher has been a solid anchor for the pitching staff in 17 spring games this year as the team holds an ERA of 3.85 and 89 strikeouts compared to 59 walks. The Crusaders are in the midst 15 straight games on the road, with Chicago State and UIC up next this coming week. 

This past week Cal State- Dominguez Hills finished its three game road trip against Stanislaus State 1-2, with a victory coming in game two. Returning Rafter Brandon Polizzi lead the way in the batters box with at least one hit in all three games. The outfielder finished the series with four hits in nine at-bats. In the game two win, the junior went 2-4 with a run scored. has Holding the team’s best batting average of .388, Polizzi also boast the best on-base percentage of .448 as the teams leadoff hitter. In 25 games this year, the speedy outfielder has at least one hit in all but three games. In 11 of those games, he has at least two hits, with three base knocks or more in six contests. More chances upcoming for Polizzi this week with the Toros batting Chico State in a three game set.  

SIU Edwardsville put up 17 runs in its three games against Tennessee Tech on the road, but it was not enough to pick up a win. However, current Rafter Dustin Woodcock posted a two hit performance against Tennessee Tech in game two. The outfielders .290 batting average is second best on the roster. The junior owns an on-base percentage of .419 this year after drawing two walks in the Tennessee Tech series. SIU Edwardsville plays host to Evansville in a make up game for a one game matchup. The team then welcomes Southeast Missouri for three games.

Canisius College posted two wins in three games against George Mason, dropping the opener but grabbing the final two games on the series. J.P. Stevenson started game two for the Griffins of Canisius. Picking up a win, the starter turned in a strong performance. The lefty logged eight innings on the hill with two earned runs allowed on six hits. Effective near the zone, Stevenson struck out six batters of the 28 he faced. On the season, the starter has the second best ERA on the team standing at 1.85, best among regular starters. With a team best 4-1 record in 34 innings, the junior has struck out 25 and issued a meager six walks in a strong campaign. Stevenson’s teammate and soon-to-be Rafter Ryan Stekl went 1-4 in the series opening loss to George Mason. In the finale, the infielder posted a base knock and a run batted in during the 7-1 Canisius win. This year has been impressive for Stekl. With an average standing at .324 (24-74), the junior has 12 runs bated in and an on-base percentage of .422. The Griffins next slate of games comes on the road against Kennesaw State in Georgia for a four game series before heading home for the first time to take on Monmouth.  

The season and home opener for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters is May 30th at 7:05 against the Kenosha Kingfish. Solarus Founders Club, bleacher 9-Game ticket packages, and group outing packages are on sale now. Call 715-424-5400 or stop by the Rafters Front Office Monday-Friday from 9-5 to purchase a ticket package or book a group outing.

 

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The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM).  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 or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.