WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) - The Rafters have added sophomore infielder Matt Puhl (University of Minnesota), junior utility man Evan Laude (University of Rhode Island) and junior pitcher Dan Johnson (University of Rhode Island) to the 2010 inaugural roster.
The starting shortstop for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, Puhl enters the weekend with a .338 batting average, 11 doubles, and 14 RBI. Playing a very demanding position on the diamond, Puhl has flashed a solid glove while committing only 2 errors in 38 games this season.
A redshirt freshman in 2009, Puhl was a 2008 graduate from North St. Paul High School. He was named All-State in baseball as a senior, was a two-time All-Conference baseball selection, and was named District MVP in American Legion ball in both 2007 and 2008.
Laude has returned to the lineup in a big way this year after an injury-shortened 2009 season. He has appeared in 36 games this season while playing a variety of positions for the Rams. Laude carries a .277 batting average into the weekend and ranks third on the team with 26 RBI.
As a freshman, Laude appeared in 28 games and made 24 starts while batting .271. He finished the season with a perfect fielding percentage in 103 chances. Laude is a graduate from Long Beach High School where he was a World Scholar Athlete, earning All-Conference and All-County honors for his accomplishments on the diamond. He is currently majoring in journalism at the University of Rhode Island, and aspires to become a sports journalist.
After playing 2 seasons for the University of New Haven, Johnson is amidst his first season with the University of Rhode Island Rams. He has a 1-3 record on the season while appearing in 17 games, mostly out of the bullpen.
Last season at New Haven, Johnson appeared in 21 games spanning 32.1 innings. He struck out 24 batters and finished with a 4.73 ERA and one save on the season. As a freshman he made 11 appearances and recorded 19 strikeouts to go along with a 3.10 ERA. Johnson's family ties to the game of baseball are very strong. His grandfather, father, and uncle have all experienced playing minor league baseball. Johnson is majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island.
Courtesy: Rafters Press Release