Martin to Return as Rafters’ Manager in 2013

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (Aug. 24, 2012) – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters announced today that Field Manager Jake Martin will return for a second full season in 2013.  

“We are excited to have Jake back in 2013,” said General Manager Liz Kern.  “Jake really has a strong understanding and passion for the game of baseball.  I am excited to have a full offseason with Jake to work on building a great team for 2013.”

Martin guided the Rafters to a 16-18 first-half record this season, the best record in a single half in franchise history.  During the first month, the team went on a roll reeling off eight straight wins—he longest winning streak in franchise history—from June 13-June 21.  The team won three straight versus Wisconsin, two against both Battle Creek and Eau Claire, and one against La Crosse during the stretch and were in the playoff hunt until the final week of the first-half.  

The 2012 Rafters finished with a 27-42 overall record, good for 6th place in the Northwoods League’s South Divison standings. The team also surpassed the previous high water mark of 24 wins set in 2011.  Although this year’s team showed marked improvement from past seasons, Martin has his sights set on bigger and better things in 2013.

“This last summer was a fun season,” said Martin in a statement. “I thought we did good things in the first half and it put us in a position to make a run at the playoffs.  I am excited to go through the whole offseason process of recruiting the guys and being able to talk to them a little earlier this year. It will be great to be back working with Liz and John and the rest of the Rafters staff, as well as coaching at Witter Field!”

The younger brother of 2011 manager John Martin, Jake began his Rafters tenure in 2011 as an assistant coach for the Rafters, working closely with the hitters and bullpen pitchers while also coaching first and third base at different times throughout the season.  Jake took over the reins for the final 18 games of the 2011 regular season and guided the team to a 7-11 record after John left the team after being named the head coach at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.  He was named the third manager in Rafters history on January 3, earlier this year.

Jake Martin played baseball at Barton County Community college during the 2004-2005 seasons.  From 2006-2008 he was responsible for maintaining a sports complex while also spending time coaching summer baseball. He then spent the 2008-2009 season at MidAmerica Nazarene University before transferring to Emporia State where he played from 2009-2011, culminating with a conference championship during his senior season with the team.  During the summer of 2010 Martin also coached the Emporia American Legion baseball team and led them to a 35-15 record.  He is a native of Shawnee, Kansas.

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are members of the 16-team summer collegiate Northwoods League.