2015 NWL All-Star Riley To Return for Rafters
2015 All-Star Riley And Right-Hander Graf To Join Rafters
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are delighted to announce the return of a former Northwoods League All-Star and the addition of a talented right-handed arm from the Junior College ranks. Jack Riley (University of Connecticut) and Keaton Graf (Johnson County CC) will each call Witter Field their home this summer as they represent the seventh-year ball club.
“We’re really excited to get Jack Riley back and to add Keaton Graf to the mix,” said Rafters general manager John Fanta. “Keaton is a really talented arm with great size and getting an All-Star pitcher like Jack to return is naturally a huge benefit for us at this point.”
LHP – Jack Riley, 6’2” 195, (L/L), Redshirt Freshman, University of Connecticut
A year older, the 2015 Northwoods League All-Star makes his return to Witter Field for a second season with the Rafters as a likely holdfast atop the Rafters’ starting rotation. In his introductory summer in the Northwoods League, the southpaw offered Rafter fans sustained dominance in the form of his 5-1 record, 3.21 ERA, and 38 strikeouts across 56 innings. The Boston native’s five wins last season tied him for the second-highest single-season win total in franchise history and have positioned him nicely to make a run at becoming the Rafters’ all-time wins leader. Riley, now a redshirt freshman, has worked double duty this season for the Huskies, pitching in both starting and relief capacities. Through 10 appearances, Riley has started three times, posted a perfect 2-0 record, and struck out 19 hitters in 21.1 innings on the bump. A graduate of Saint Peter Marian High School, Jack is no stranger to accolades, as he earned All-State honors as a senior one year in advance of his Northwoods League All-Star selection last summer.
RHP – Keaton Graf, 6’1” 200, (R/R), Sophomore, Johnson County Community College
With his sophomore season at the Junior College level concluded, Graf will make the jump to the Northwoods League with a hard throwing pedigree. After experiencing only limited action in his freshman campaign at Cowley Community College, Graf opted to transfer schools and improved markedly, dominating the competition as a fixture in the Johnson County CC bullpen in 2016. This spring, all 25 of Graf’s appearances came in a relief capacity, nonetheless it did not limited the right-hander’s ability to rack up 35 punch outs in 23 innings of work, post a 3-3 record, earn two saves, and carve a 3.13 ERA. Originally from Missouri, Graf is a graduate of Santa Fe High School, where he earned Class 1 All-State designation in each of his final three seasons as a prep athlete.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2016, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, 150 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.