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.
By: Ray Jensen
The postseason is in sight for many college baseball teams as we end April. It’s an exciting time of year for baseball and even more exciting when you realize the first Wisconsin Rapids Rafters game of 2018 is now less than a month away; 29 days to be exact. This week in the Team Report, there is a look at the performances of each player as usual as well as a peak at what remains on the schedule for those who still have games to play in the spring. Read on to find out all the details:
Charlie Ruegger had a gutsy outing for Stevens Institute of Technology (23-14, Empire 8 14-3) in game one of their Saturday doubleheader hosting Utica College. The junior threw 6.1 innings allowed 11 hits, five runs to cross but struck out seven. Ruegger got the run support as the Ducks won 7-5 and gave the righty his sixth win of the season. Chandler Brierly did not make an appearance. The Ducks won all three of their contests this week and have three more to go ending their season on the road against New York University. Empire 8 Championships begin May 10th and the Ducks will enter as the No. 1 seed hosting No. 4 Houghton on the 10th.
Jonathan Hernandez and Chapman University (30-10, SCIAC 15-9) finished their season on a high note winning all three final games. Hernandez pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth inning in Saturday’s game at Occidental. The junior struck out four in the appearance to end his regular season 3-1 with a save and a 3.25 ERA. Hernandez struck out a total of 32 batters in 36 innings across 14 appearances. The Panthers earned a spot as the No. 2 seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament, they will play Redlands on May 4th.
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (14-29, Southland 6-15) couldn’t get into the win column this week but Josh Campbell and Trayson Kubo brought their A game. Campbell collected four hits while Trayson Kubo threw three scoreless innings between two appearances this week. SFA plays 11 times in May and ends their campaign on the road at Houston Baptist University.
Victor Carlino and the Southwestern College Jaguars (26-14, PCAC 15-9) ended their season on a four-game win streak, sweeping all three games this week. Carlino batted .333 through three games including a three-hit, three RBI performance on Friday at San Diego City to end the season. Carlino’s sophomore campaign ends with a .284/.355/.469 slash line, 46 hits, nine doubles, six triples and three home runs. The Lakeside, CA native batted in 29 runs and crossed home plate himself 34 times.
Tommy Szczasny and the Northern Illinois University Huskies (15-28, 5-13 MAC) went 2-3 in five games with wins over Indiana State and Robert Morris University. Szczasny scored twice, belted three hits including a triple and worked three walks in five starts at shortstop. The Huskies have 12 gamedays left in May ending their season on the road at Eastern Michigan University.
Dixie State (22-24, PacWest 18-18) split its four-game series at Concordia-Irvine. Chandler Greenfield and Brecken Lewis were not used in the four-game series due to their previous use last week in the Biola series. The Trailblazers finish their regular season at home next week hosting California Baptist University in a set of four. Afterwards, Dixie State will look towards NCAA West Regionals which begins on May 17th.
The University of Central Florida (29-15, American 8-7) took two out of three from the Wichita State Shockers at home. Tyler Osik was a big part of the Knight’s offense. Osik collected three hits including a three-RBI double, scored twice and worked a walk. Brody Wofford did not log an at bat this week. The Knights have 12 games to go before ending the regular season at home in a three-game set vs. Tulane.
Mason McReaken continued an impressive scoreless innings streak this week extending it to six scoreless innings in six outings. McReaken earned two saves and struck out seven this week as SIU Edwardsville (13-29, OVC 4-17) has now won three straight after sweeping Samford on the road. Bret Fehr struggled to get on base this week but has been seamless in the field committing just two errors all season. The Cougars have 11 games in May ending their season at home against Jacksonville State.
UNLV (29-17, MountainWest 10-11) hit a bump in the road this week going winless in their three-game series at San Diego State. Jack-Thomas Wold worked two walks in three games. Seth Mullis worked a walk in his lone start on Friday. With nine games to go, the Rebels play six of nine at home before ending the regular season on the road at Fresno State.
Will Frizzell helped the Texas A&M Aggies (32-12, SEC 11-10) go 3-1 defeating Abilene Christian University and winning a three-game series against Mississippi State. The freshman batted in four with three hits and a run scored. 11 dates are left on the Aggies regular season schedule with the SEC Tournament slated to start on May 22nd. Texas A&M ends the year at home hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks in three games.
Payton Robertson was limited to a pinch hitter appearance on Tuesday facing LSU. Lamar University (15-30, Southland 9-15) went 2-3 with their wins being against Southern University and Nicholls. The Cardinals play 10 dates in May and face McNeese State in their regular season finale at home.
Jarrod Watkins scored three runs on three hits, batted in one and stole a base. The Indiana State Sycamores (21-19, The Valley 4-8) won two of their five games beating Ball State and Louisville. 11 games remain on the Sycamores’ schedule and end their season on the road at Valparaiso before the MVC Tournament begins May 23rd.
Ty Duvall earned more playing time with his play last week and certainly made good with the increased work. Duvall started in all three games and collected three hits including his second home run of the year and scored four runs. Vanderbilt (25-18, 11-10 SEC) lost two out of three to South Carolina and have 12 games to go before the SEC Tournament. The Commodores conclude the regular season at home hosting Kentucky.
Steven Rivas was limited to an appearance as a pinch runner and scored in Tuesday’s win over USC. Long Beach State (18-26, BigWest 4-8) split their four games and has 13 games to go. The Dirtbags end their season at home hosting Cal State Fullerton.
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 Wisconsin Rapids 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 190 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.wisconsinrapidsrafters.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.