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Rafters Attempt to Break NWL Single Season Wins Mark 

 
 
Rafters Attempt to Break NWL Single Season Wins Mark 
Wisconsin Rapids hosts Lakeshore for the final series of the regular season
 
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Wisconsin Rapids (51-19, 24-10) is one win away from breaking the record for most wins in a season and can accomplish the feat at Witter Field vs. Lakeshore (37-33, 19-16) on Saturday.  
 
Following a sweep of Rockford on Friday, the Rafters tied the single season wins record in Northwoods League history at 51 with a 5-3 win. The Waterloo Bucks originally set the record in 2013, finishing the season 51-19. It took until the middle innings for the Rafters offense to strike on Friday, but a record-setting start from Jesse Slinger led the way to a victory. 
 
The right-hander allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, but tossed a scoreless last five innings to hold a 4-2 lead for the Rafters. Nick Anderson drove home two on a single while Ryan Stekl drove in two and Jake Guenther another to give the Rafters starter his eighth win on the season to break the franchise record for most wins in a single season by a pitcher. 
 
Layne Henderson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save on the season, tying the single season saves record in team history. With two more games to build upon history, the Rafters and Chinooks settle in for the final series of the regular season. 
 
Set to take the mound for Wisconsin Rapids is right-hander Nick Avila (2-1) from San Joaquin Delta College. In 17 appearances this season, Avila has a 2.62 ERA with two starts under his belt. His past two appearances have been starts, logging 11 innings with five strikeouts. Avila has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the league this year, starting the season off with nine games before issuing an earned run. 
 
Countering Avila for the Chinooks is right-hander Austin Havekost (4-4) from Kent State. In 12 games appeared in and eight starts, Havekost owns a 2.68 ERA with 50 innings on the season. The freshman has 38 strikeouts with 20 walks. In his last start against the Rafters, Havekost went six innings in the loss. Five runs came in to score against the righty, but none of the earned after three Lakeshore errors. Havekost faces a Rafters lineup hitting a league-best .283 as a team. 
 
Leading the Rafters offense in average is Stekl, who bats a clip of .363, second best in the Northwoods. Right behind Stekl is Bryson Stott hitting .345 and leading the league in hits with 95. The Rafters offense has four players hitting above .300 as Charlie McConnell (.330) and Dustin Woodcock (.321) join Stekl and Stott. 
 
First pitch on Saturday at Witter Field is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Pregame coverage begins at 5:50 p.m. on AM 1320 WFHR and WFHR.com, the Rafters Radio Network. Saturday’s game is Heartland Farms night, with a Postgame Fireworks Show.  
 
 
 
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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.