Rafters Team Report Week Two: February 27th – March 5th
The Rafters Team Report is a weekly update of your 2018 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters players in their spring seasons. Stay tuned each week for news and stats on players
As we enter March, many college teams are completing their final tune ups before divisional play begins. That can include anything from college invitationals to coastal trips facing programs teams would not normally compete against for one reason or another. The Rafters-to-be this week hit some high peaks and low valleys as is expected in the sport of baseball. The good certainly outweighed the bad and here is what went down in Week Two of our team report:
The Stevens Tech Ducks suffered road losses to Rowan University and Endicott College this week but that did not stop Charlie Ruegger from another fine performance. Ruegger threw the final 3 2/3 innings Wednesday at Rowan striking out three. Ruegger leads the Ducks’ starting staff with a 1.04 ERA. Chandler Brierly did not see action this week. The Ducks are at home for their next three games starting on March 7th hosting SUNY-Old Westbury.
Jonathan Hernandez and the Chapman University Panthers enjoyed a 2-1 series win hosting Concordia University Wisconsin. The Panthers swept a Saturday doubleheader but lost Sunday’s finale 2-1. Hernandez threw two innings of relief in the loss on Sunday. Chapman begins division play this weekend when they host Whittier in a doubleheader.
Mason McReaken and Bret Fehr were crucial in SIU Edwardsville’s first series win of the season. The Cougars won a three-game series 2-1 over Oral Roberts University. Fehr homered in the 2nd inning on Friday to give SIU Edwardsville a 4-0 advantage and scored the tying run in Sunday’s win. McReaken had quite the week, closing in both wins. He needed only 13 pitches in the 9th inning on Friday to get his second save of the season. On Sunday, McReaken pitched the final two innings, striking out three and walking one in his second win of the season. In four appearances, McReaken is 2-0 with two saves and ten strikeouts.
Ty Duvall and the No. 15 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores closed out a 10-game home stand with wins over Austin Peay and Indiana State. Duvall logged some innings behind the dish in the 19-6 win over Austin Peay. Vanderbilt then traveled to Minute Maid Park, the home of the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros, for the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. After consecutive losses to Sam Houston State and Louisiana, the Commodores bounced back against No. 24 ranked Houston. Vanderbilt won 9-4 in a milestone win for their skipper Tim Corbin. With that win, Tim Corbin now has 656 career victories making him the program’s all-time winningest coach.
Texas A&M traveled to Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas for the Frisco College Baseball Classic. Will Frizzell continued his terrific season this week with a .348 average, five hits, two runs scored and a home run. Frizzell’s first home run of the year came on Saturday vs. Baylor. The freshman homered to right field in the seventh to give the Aggies a 4-2 advantage. No. 10 ranked Texas A&M is now 11-1 after winning four of their five games this week. The Aggies begin a six-game home stand on Tuesday hosting Northwestern State.
Jarrod Watkins kept the hits coming for Indiana State this week cracking eight hits in four games. Those eight hits included three doubles. Watkins ended the week with a run scored and two doubles in an 11-5 win over Austin Peay. Indiana State is 6-5 and will host Western Illinois starting on Saturday.
Steven Rivas had some starts at DH this week for Long Beach State. Rivas had a two RBI double to left center on Wednesday in a 16-4 win over Arizona State. In his second start of the week on Saturday, Rivas plated one on a RBI fielder’s choice and forced a walk. Long Beach State hosts Ty Duvall and the Vanderbilt Commodores up next on Wednesday.
Alex Jackson and Heartland Community College broke out the brooms this week, sweeping Ellsworth Community College in a three-game series. Jackson did not pitch in the series. Jackson and the Heartland Hawks travel to Florida for the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Heartland’s first game in the invitational is Saturday against Lansing Community College.
The 2018 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will begin their season on the road against the Madison Mallards on Tuesday, May 29th. The Home Opener is slated for Friday, June 1st against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The entire 2018 Rafters schedule is available at www.raftersbaseball.com
The Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 185 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.