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Published On: June 16th, 2014


Blackburn Makes Second Start Versus La Crosse

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (5-15) look to get back to their winning ways tonight as they take on the La Crosse Loggers (12-8) here at Witter Field. The Rafters are coming off a series split with the Battle Creek Bombers and are finish out the home stand on a positive note. The Loggers are 7-3 in their past ten games, but are coming off of a 5-4 loss at the hands of the Lakeshore Chinooks.

Nick Blackburn (0-1) will look to get his first victory of the year with the Rafters as he will be facing these Loggers for the second time this season already. In his first outing against the Loggers, Blackburn threw just three innings, but allowed no runs on two hits and two walks and also struck out four batters. Blackburn threw five solid innings in his last start and the Rafters look to hopefully extend his workload here in his third start of the season.

The Loggers pitching staff, who ranks 13th in the Northwoods League in team era, had the Rafters number last time they faced as they held the Rafters to five runs over two games. But the Loggers will have to deal with some very hot hitters in this new look Rafters lineup.

In his first three games Oklahoma State Sophomore Ryan Sluder is batting .333 and has launched one massive home run, as he continues to settle in to Northwoods League play. Erik Payne comes into this contest riding a six game hitting streak and looks to keep that streak going tonight. During those six games Payne has put up very impressive numbers, batting .440 with two home runs and seven runs batted in.

It is a 7:05pm start tonight at Witter Field, which means the gates will be opening at 6:05pm. Tonight will feature a Hunger Coalition Food Sculpture Event – United We Can, presented by the United Way. Additionally, tonight is the first public Rat Trap theme night, as it is Karen’s Wines & Steins Wine Sampling Night. The Element Mobile Rat Trap is open to the public tonight and for $20 you can enjoy the ballpark buffet and a variety of Karen’s wines. Finally, with tonight being the first Monday home game of the season, Blaser’s and Rubi Red’s are proud to present Baseball Bingo at the ballpark. The first 300 fans will receive bingo cards with different baseball scenarios printed on them, and the first person to get a straight line will win a prize.


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 Cy Young Award Winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube Channel. For more information, visit