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Rafters Finish Home Series, Look To Sweep Kingfish

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Rats try to extend franchise-record home winning streak

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – After a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Kenosha Kingfish (16-21, 0-1) on Wednesday night, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (25-12, 1-0) host the Kingfish again on Thursday, looking to complete a sweep. With Wednesday’s win, the Rafters snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Kingfish, dating to 2014 and secured just their third win in franchise history against the reigning Northwoods League Champion Kingfish.

After a rotational shuffle, right-hander Chris Cooper (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) is scheduled to make his sixth start of the season, carrying an unblemished 4-0 record and a league-best 0.29 ERA into action. Cooper, who has anchored the Rafters rotation, is in the midst of a franchise-record 22 1/3 inning scoreless streak that began on June 9 against Thunder Bay. In total, Cooper has lasted six innings or more four times, struck out 20 batters, and walked only five in 31 innings on the mound. Additionally, Cooper has been the beneficiary of outstanding run support from a Rafter lineup that has averaged 10.2 runs per game with Cooper on the mound. In his most recent outing, Cooper was limited to a no-decision despite throwing seven scoreless innings against the Green Bay Bullfrogs in a game that the Rafters would eventually win 7-3.

The Kingfish will counter with a right-hander of their own, Charlie Hecht (Georgia College), making his seventh start of the summer campaign. Hecht, a college teammate of Rafter outfielder Logan Mattix and relief pitcher Cameron Busby, owns a record of 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings of work. While Hecht has been tagged for 33 hits, he has struck out 26 opponents, while issuing just 11 free passes. In five of Hecht’s six starts, he has gone at least five innings, including a six-inning performance his last time out against the Battle Creek Bombers in which he allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out a season-high seven batters. 

The Rafters, who are in the midst of a franchise-record eight-game home winning streak, finish out their brief two-game home stand Thursday night before returning to the road for five consecutive games. First pitch at Witter Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening to the general public at 6:05 p.m.

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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, 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 150 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 portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Rafters as your favorite team.