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Published On: January 9th, 2014

Wisconsin Rapids, WI- Thursday, January 9th.  The Rafters have announced that they have signed redshirt freshman infielder Patrick Ervin (North Florida) and junior infielder Michael Hurwitz (Illinois) to contracts for the 2014 season.  Both players had signed contracts to play for the team last summer, before both suffered season ending injuries that prevented them from joining the team.


IF-Patrick Ervin, 6’0”, 175 lbs (L/R) Redshirt Freshman
After signing a contract with the Rafters in 2013, Ervin suffered a season ending leg injury that prevented him from participating in his freshman season at North Florida and also from playing in the Northwoods League last summer.   Ervin is now poised to begin his redshirt freshman season at North Florida next month, with an eye on staying healthy for the 2014 season.   

Ervin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 39th Round of the 2012 MLB Draft, but chose to attend college instead of signing a professional contract out of high school.  The left-handed hitting middle-infielder attended Pace High School in Florida he led the Patriots to the 2010 National Championship (ESPN Rise), 2010 Florida State Championship, and the 2011 Florida State Final Four.  He helped Pace High School to a 20-5 record as a freshman, 29-2 record as a sophomore, 27-6 record as a junior, and 25-7 record as a senior.  Ervin earned First Team All-District, First Team All-Area and First Team All-Region accolades as a sophomore and junior.  In addition, Ervin was tabbed a 2011 Top 100 Prospect and 2010 and 2011 All-Northwest Florida Team.  He was also the 2011 Northwest Florida leader in runs scored and top five in batting average.  Ervin hit .387 as a freshman, .403 as a sophomore, .444 his junior season.  He is a native of Pace, Florida.

Hurwitz Web

IF-Michael Hurwitz, 5’6”, 173 lbs (S/R) Junior
Hurwitz had a breakout season for the Illini in 2013 before his season ended due to a hand injury.  Already having signed a contract to be a member of the Rafters in the summer, Hurwitz was instead forced to take the summer off from baseball activities completely.  The Rafters are excited to have him signed again for 2014.

Last spring Hurwitz served as the Illinois designated hitter, posting a .296 batting average while hitting mostly out of the second spot in the lineup.  In 55 games, he tallied 38 runs, 33 RBIs and 12 doubles, which tied for second on the team.  He also tied for second in the Big Ten in walks with 39, and ranked eighth in the Big Ten in on-base percentage with a .415 mark.  Hurwitz showed a knack for getting on base all season long, even turning in a career-high nine-game hitting streak from March 18-April 2 during a stretch in which he batted .394 (13-for-33).    

Hurwitz was ranked the No. 58 prospect in the state of Illinois by Prep Baseball Report coming out of high school.  His senior season he batted .355 with a .512 on-base percentage, 24 runs scored and 17 runs batted in.  As a junior he posted a .438 batting average with 27 stolen bases and 45 runs scored.  His performance in high school earned him Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A All-State honors in both his junior and senior seasons.  He was also named an All-Central State 8 selection in 2010 as well as being named to the CABA World Series All-Tournament team after leading his team to a second place finish.  Hurwitz is a native of Pleasant Plains, Illinois.

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit