Rafters and Growlers Meet for Final Time in 2017
Wisconsin Rapids attempts to finish 4-0 at Witter Field vs. Kalamazoo
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – One game remains in the season series for Wisconsin Rapids (43-18, 16-9) and Kalamazoo (18-40, 9-15) from Witter Field on Tuesday. The Rafters are 6-1 against the Growlers this year, while standing a perfect 3-0 at home after an 8-2 win on Monday.
Kalamazoo plated the first run of the game on an RBI ground from Andrew Huff (Middle Tennessee State) in the first inning, but Wisconsin Rapids rebounded two innings later. With the bases loaded in the third, Ryan Stekl (Canisius) bounced a ball through the middle to score a run and tie the game.
All knotted at one in the fifth, Nick Anderson (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) gave the Rafters their first lead of the game with a no-doubt home run to left. The two-run homer put Wisconsin Rapids up 3-1. It was Anderson’s fourth home run of the year against Kalamazoo, giving him seven on the season. In the following inning, the Rafters padded their lead with a two-RBI double off the bat of Michael Ruffolo (Rockhurst), and a base knock from Charlie McConnell (Northeastern) to score two more and extend the lead 7-1.
Wisconsin Rapids added another insurance run in the seventh when Dustin Woodcock (SIUE) drove in his 99th career Rafters RBI with a sacrifice fly to push the lead 8-1. Kalamazoo grabbed one run in the sixth to make it a six-run deficit. Grant Gunderson (1-1) earned his first win as a Rafter.
On the mound for Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday to complete the series is Isaiah Carranza (5-0). The right-hander owns a 2.30 ERA in six starts and seven appearances. The sophomore from Oregon has five starts of at least six innings, with two of them completing seven innings. In 39 innings pitched, Carranza has 37 strikeouts while issuing nine walks. The starters last outing goes down as one of his best of the season; tossing seven innings of one-run ball against Madison in a 2-1 Rafters win.
Set to counter Carranza for the Growlers is Blaine Fisher (Pittsburg State). The lefty is 0-3 with a 4.19 ERA in six starts and nine appearances. With 38 and two-third innings on the season, Fisher has 29 strikeouts while walking 17. The junior posted his best outing in his last start, throwing five innings and not giving up an earned run, striking out a season-high six batters.
Leading the Rafters offense is Bryson Stott (UNLV) with a .347 batting average. Batting in the middle of the lineup for much of the season, Stott has tallied 39 runs batted in and 14 doubles. The lefty currently holds a 17-game hit streak after a base hit in the eighth inning of Monday’s game. Stekl, Woodcock, and McConnell all join Stott hitting above .300 this season.
– Wisconsin Rapids is 6-1 against Kalamazoo this season, including 3-0 at Witter Field. Wisconsin Rapids leads the all-time series 18-13.
– Bryson Stott tallied his 82 hit this season after a single in Monday's game. The Rafters infielder is three hits away from having the most hits in a single season in Rafters history. Keelin Rasch of Louisiana Monroe currently holds the record of 84 hits in the 2014 season.
– Dustin Woodcock recorded his 99th career RBI with the Rafters on Monday. With one more until 100, he would become the first Rafter in team history to accomplish the century mark in RBI's.
– The Rafters have four players hitting above .300 entering Tuesday. Stott (.346), Stekl (.345), Woodcock (.335), and McConnell (.312) lead the Rafters in hitting this season.
First pitch set for 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. Fans in attendance will receive a 2017 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Team Poster, sponsored by Luke A. Weiland. Coverage of Tuesday’s game begins at 6:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network.
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, 180 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.comor download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.