Rafters Team Report Week Four: March 28 – April 2nd
Rafters Team Report Week Four: March 28 – April 2nd
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. – Spring baseball is in full force and conference play is dominating the headlines. We take a look at week four of our Rafters Team Report to check out the seasons our current players are having.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi grabbed a victory in a series finale on the road against New Orleans in Southland action. In an 8-4 victory, Nick Anderson scored a run and drew a walk. However, Anderson’s biggest game of the week came against UH-Victoria. The speedster finished the game two-for-three with a walk and a run scored. Against the University of Texas, Anderson finished the game with a hit and two walks. This season, the future Rafter is hitting .286 with 20 runs batted in and 18 runs. Teammate Nkosi Djehuti-Mes started against Texas in the designated hitter role, finished the day one-for-three .The Islanders have a one game tilt on the road at UTSA before heading back home to host Southeastern Louisiana in Southland action.
In a gutsy performance from Cameron Busby against the nations top team in Mount Olive tossed six and two-third innings, Belmont Abbey held off the number one team in a 3-2 victory in the opening game of the series. Busby went six and two-third strong innings while giving up two runs. The starter did not earn a decision, but struck out three batters to put Belmont Abbey in a position to pick up the victory. Belmont Abbey took the series against Mount Olive, losing the second game 2-1, but winning the rubber match 11-6. Busby holds a 3-3 record in 62 innings this year. The right-hander has the most innings pitched on the team by nearly 20 innings. Belmont Abbey is slated to take on Lincoln Memorial for a one game battle, then welcome in Limestone for three games.
Another stout outing by Jake Repavich of Grand Canyon University improved his record to 3-2 on the season with an ERA of 3.89. In his latest start against Northern Colorado, the lefty pitched seven innings while allowing two earned runs on six hits in a 12-3 victory. The junior held command; striking out five while issuing no walks, the first time he has done so this year. This season, Repavich has 28 strikeouts while walking just nine. Grand Canyon takes on 20th ranked Arkansas for a two game series then hits the road to take on Sacramento State.
A clean sweep for Xavier against Fairleigh Dickinson elevated the Musketeers record to 16-12 on the season. After victories by scored of 22-9 and 8-5 in the first two games, Trey Schramm helped Xavier finished off the series with a 15-3 win. Schramm entered the game in relief and tossed two scoreless innings while giving up just one hit. Three strikeouts in the game raised his season total to 20. The righty has walked only three batters on the season. In eight appearances, The Pingree Grove, Illinois native has not allowed a run in four of those outings. Pitcher David Williams made an appearance in the first game of the series, tossing an inning and not allowing an earned run. Williams struck out two in the game. The freshman has seen action in five games on the year. Xavier takes on Miami Ohio and Villanova this week.
Chalk up another dominant performance for starting pitcher Gareth Stroh. In a 6-1 Purdue victory against Ohio State, Stroh led the way with seven and two-third innings of one run baseball. Clean on the mound, the starter did not issue a walk. With two strikeouts, Stroh pitched to contact to work effectively. Purdue took two of three games from the Buckeyes. Stroh’s season continues to blossom. In 35 innings, he has a 2-2 record in seven starts. Purdue takes on a pair of in-state foes, hosting both Indiana State and Indiana this week.
Keep the wins rolling in for the University of Illinois-Chicago. Winners of 13 of the last 14 games, the Flames finished last week with a sweep of Horizon League foe Milwaukee. The weekend started with an 11-4 win vs. Milwaukee followed up with wins of 5-0 and 8-7, respectively. Rob Calabrese ignited the Flames offensively as the catcher finished with five hits in 13 at-bats. The series finale proved to be the best game of the set for the soon-to-be Rafter. Calabrese went two-for-five with a home run and two runs batted in to lift his batting average to .298. In the last six games, Calabrese has raised his average from .240 to the near .300 mark, with a nine game hitting streak on top of it. The Flames look to continue their torrid pace with a home game vs. Northwestern before taking to the road against Oakland.
St. Johns River State is deep into its season, logging 43 games and putting up an impressive 30-13 record. The junior college school is 18-3 at home, in large part to the contributions of Rafter signee Nick Owens. This past weekend, Owens helped lead the way in the teams two victories in three games vs. Florida State Jacksonville. During the two wins last week, the shortstop recorded three hits, with two of them in the series finale in a 6-2 win. The speedster is now hitting .327 on the year, with two home runs and 46 runs scored. Owens has been held hitless in just 10 of the teams 42 games on the season, with 15 multi-hit efforts. Next up for St. Johns River State is a home and home series with Pasco-Hernando State.
A tough series for Valparaiso in its first ever games against Wichita State. The Shockers won all three games by one run, walking off in two of the games. However, for Valparaiso, starting catcher Scott Kapers opened the series with two hits and a walk. Kapers ended the weekend with a hit in the series finale. The infielder started the season as the team’s primary catcher, but has moved around the infield, and found a home at second base the past two games. The Crusaders play their final game of a 15 game road streak against Illinois State before heading home to take on Western Michigan and Northern Kentucky.
Cal State- Dominguez Hills was able to salvage a win in game two of a three game series against Cal State East Bay with an 8-4 victory. Returning Rafter Brandon Polizzi once again led the offense for CSU Dominguez Hills. The outfielder finished two-for-four with an RBI and a run scored as the leadoff man in the win during game two. In the first game of the series, Polizzi still had a strong performance with two hits in five at-bats. His batting average is now .403 on the year. In 31 games this season, the speedy outfielder has at least one hit in all but three games. In 16 of those games, he has at least two hits, with three base knocks or more in seven contests. Cal State Monterey Bay is next up on the schedule for the Toros.
SIU Edwardsville got off to a good start last week with an 8-7 win against Evansville, but dropped three close games against Belmont on the road. Losing by a total of six runs in the three games, current Rafter Dustin Woodcock struck for four hits in 13 at-bats, driving in a run in game two. The outfielders raised his average to .303 on the year. The junior owns a seven game hitting streak, with two or more hits in three of those games. SIU Edwardsville next slate of games includes a single game vs. Western Illinois and a three game home series vs. Eastern Kentucky.
Canisius College posted two wins in a three game series against Monmouth in its first home series of the 2017 season. After a loss in game one, the Griffins squeaked out a 4-3 win in game two, then exploding offensively for 11 runs in an 11-10 win. J.P. Stevenson started game two on the mound for the Griffins in the 4-3 win. The lefty had a strong showing in six and one-third innings on the hill with three earned runs allowed on eight hits. Effective near the zone, Stevenson struck out seven batters of the 26 he faced. On the season, the starter has the best ERA among starters on the team standing at 2.4. With a team best 4-2 record in 47 innings, the junior has struck out 36 and issued a meager eight walks in a strong campaign. Stevenson’s teammate and soon-to-be Rafter Ryan Stekl blasted a grand slam in the first game of the series. In game two, Stekl finished two-for-three with an RBI. In the 11-10 offensive outburst, Stekl led the way with a four-for-five performance, driving in three runs and scoring three more. After the weekend was all said and done, Stekl raised his batting average to a .330 mark. His 22 runs batted in are now the most on the roster after Stekl finished the weekend with eight total. The Griffins next slate of games comes against St. Bonaventure, Buffalo, and Marist.
Quinn DiPasquale of Stevens Tech made two appearances this past week. In a win against Rutgers Camden, DiPasquale tossed two innings and did not allow an earned run with one strikeout. In a start against Ithaca College, the starter lasted four innings with three punch-outs. Pasquale has now started in six games this year while appearing out of the bullpen in two games. On the year, the hard throwing pitcher is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.56. He has 33 strikeouts and 13 free passes this year. Aaron Herr of St. Johns is in his first year with the Red Storm. St. Johns is 21-2 on the season, riding a nine game win streak. Herr has appeared in five games, all out of the bullpen. The junior is 1-0 in four and one-third innings pitched this year.
Newly named Rafter Matt Schmidt has been in action this season while Dillon Turney is taking a redshirt season at the University of Central Florida. Schmidt of Cypress College started off the series against Golden West with a hit and run batted in, which proved to be an important run in a 6-5 victory. On the season, Schmidt is batting .288 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in, while appearing in 24 games. The freshman infielder has scored nine runs. Up next for Cypress College is a three game set vs. Irvine Valley.
A duo from UNLV in Bryson Stott and Tevita Gerber are two newly announced Rafters who are in the midst of their seasons. The freshman Stott has jumped into the starting lineup for the Rebels and owns the fourth best average on the team with a .328 clip. With 15 runs batted in, the infielder has scored 18 runs, second on the team. Gerber, a left-handed pitcher, has appeared in 11 games this year with three starts in his sophomore season. In 30 innings this year, Gerber has struck out 15 while walking eight. UNLV takes on Utah Valley for a one game matchup before hitting the road against Air Force for a three game series.
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.
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.