Rafters sign three more players Friday for summer season - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rafters sign three more players Friday for summer season

Wisconsin Rapids, WI (PRESS RELEASE) – May 7th, 2010. The Rafters announced three more additions today as they inch ever so close to finalizing the 2010 roster.  Joining the inaugural team will be sophomore catcher Garrett Branske (Cal State Bakersfield), sophomore outfielder Matt Johnson (Cal Baptist), and junior right handed pitcher Chris Green (NW Missouri State). 

Garrett Branske, 6'2'', 180 lbs (R/R) So.

Joining his Cal State Bakersfield teammate, Brandon Van Dam, on the Rafters squad this year will be catcher Garrett Branske. This season for the Roadrunners, Branske has a hit for a .271 average, two doubles, 2 home runs, and 11 RBI.  In 31 games, 22 starts, the right handed hitter has gotten on base at a .398 clip. 

In 2009, Branske made 15 appearances for the Roadrunners; nine of those appearances came as a relief pitcher.  He is familiar with summer collegiate baseball, having competed with the San Luis Obispo Rattlers last summer.  In 12 appearances on the mound for the Rattlers, spanning 18 innings, Branske went 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA.  

Branske hails from Chino High School in California, where he was a second team all-league selection in 2007 and 2008.  He has not declared a major at Cal State Bakersfield.  

Matt Johnson, 6'0", 190 lbs (R/R) So.

Joining Branske on the 2010 Rafters is California Baptist sophomore outfielder Matt Johnson.  This season Johnson has appeared in 46 games, making 43 starts, for the Lancers.  He has batted .243 with eight doubles, two home runs, and 14 RBI on the 2010 season.  The speedster has swiped 14 bases while only being caught five times. 

Johnson started all 50 games he appeared in as a true freshman in 2009.  He hit .355 (66-for-186) and was second in the GSAC with 59 runs scored and ranked 5th with 24 stolen bases.  He led the team with his 66 hits, 13 doubles, and 28 hits-by-pitch.  He also hit three home runs, two triples, and led the team with a .469 on-base-percentage.  

Maybe the most impressive stat from his freshman campaign was that he reached base safely in 47 out of the team's 50 games, including each of the final 28 contests. 

Johnson is a 2008 graduate of J.W. North High School in Riverside, California.  He was a two-time All-Ivy League selection while leading the league in stolen bases on two occasions.  Johnson was also a 37th round selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in the June 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, opting instead to attend Cal Baptist following high school. 

Chris Green, 6'2", 205 lbs (R/R) Jr.

Green will join the Rafters after leading the NW Missouri State pitching staff during the spring season.  He currently leads the team with 13 starts and 3 complete games.  In 72.1 innings pitched, Green has carries an 8-5 record and a 5.10 ERA, while striking out 30 batters.  

Last season Green attended North Central Missouri Community College and made 18 appearances for the Pirates.  He led the team by logging 73 innings with 80 strikeouts and ranked third in ERA.  Currently a junior at NW Missouri, Green is a native of Joplin, Missouri. 

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are members of the 16-team summer collegiate Northwoods League. Ticket Packages and Group Tickets are on sale now!  Ticket packages are now available for purchase online at raftersbaseball.com. Single game tickets will go on sale May 8th at 9 am! For more information call (715) 424-5400 or visit www.raftersbaseball.com.  The Rafters will play a 70 game schedule with 35 home games in 2010.  Opening Day at Witter Field is scheduled for Sunday, June 6 at 6:05pm vs. the Eau Claire Express.

Courtesy:  WI Rapids Rafters


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