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Published On: February 27th, 2015


Wisconsin Rapids Continues To Bolster Pitching Staff

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The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters announced today the additions of two new players to the pitching staff for the upcoming season. Pitchers Jack Riley (University of Connecticut) & Brian Russell (College of Staten Island) have inked contracts to join the Rafters this summer.


LHP- Jack Riley 6’1” 191 lbs (L/L) Freshman, Connecticut
Jack Riley is the latest left-handed pitcher set to join the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters staff this summer. Jack was a standout in high school, playing five years of varsity baseball at Saint Peter Marian where his father, Ed Riley was his coach. In 2014, Jack was named to the ESPN Boston High School Massachusetts All-State team. In addition to that accolade, he was also named to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Super Team, Central Massachusetts Pitcher of the Year, and was a two-time Central Massachusetts Conference All Star. Riley is a native of West Boylston, Massachusetts. Jack’s father, Ed, spent eight seasons in the minor leagues and topped out at the AAA level with the Boston Red Sox organization.  Following his stint in the minor leagues he then went on to spend six seasons pitching in independent leagues. Over his 14 seasons in professional baseball combined he compiled a 84-72 overall record with a 3.47 ERA.

Field Manager Craig Noto on Jack Riley: “Jack is a talented freshman left-handed pitcher from UConn. Coach MacDonald does a great job with his players and I know Jack will be able to come in and give us quality innings in a variety of roles this summer. Having spoken to some Major League scouts in the Northeast, they seem to really like his make-up and ability to make pitches. He’s a left-hander with a mid to upper 80’s fastball with good feel for his breaking ball and that should play well for us.”


RHP- Brian Russell 6’3” 220 lbs (R/R) Sophomore, College of Staten Island
Brian Russell is a standout right-handed arm set to help the Rafters for the upcoming Northwoods League season. Russell spent his freshman year at Rhode Island University, but will return home to pitch at the College of Staten Island in the 2015 season. At St. Joseph by the Sea high school, Russell was a four sport athlete, especially excelling in baseball. He went 7-1 with a 0.80 ERA in his senior season while compiling a CHSAA leading 75 strikeouts. Russell is a native of Staten Island, New York and plans to major in Accounting.

Field Manager Craig Noto on Brian Russell: “I’m excited about adding Brian to our staff. He’s a big, strong, competitive guy who has really good raw stuff  and a high ceiling. He’s a top tier athlete who features a low 90’s fastball with good feel for his off speed offerings. I believe will make great contributions this summer for the Rafters in the starting rotation or out of the bullpen.”

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 120 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 (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit